My daughter was murdered by her husband last week in NC. He then committed suicide. He was the beneficiary of her estate, including a life insurance policy. Now his parents are the beneficiaries, according to my daughter's work place. Is this legal?
State/Country relating to question: North Carolina
I am still reeling from the shock and trauma of my daughter's death at age 23. However, her husband's parents are sparing no time in claiming all of her estate.
Thank you for your question. I will do my best to assist you with your concerns. If you would like me to clarify my answer, I will be happy to do so.First of all I am terribly sorry that you are in this situation. I honestly cannot imagine how you feel, but please accept my heartfelt condolences. To answer your question, NO, this is not what happens in these cases. You MUST press charges because under state law a person CANNOT profit from the death of a spouse or a death of a relative who leaves them proceeds. The courts would treat that situation as if the person predeceased your daughter, meaning that if he was not alive, he could not inherit. You, as the closest party, would be in line to inherit the proceeds. This is why I strongly suggest you retain a probate attorney so that he can stop their behavior, establish fault, and shunt the proceeds to you. His parents are not entitled to those benefits, either legally (if you contest early enough) or ethically.Good luck and as an aside, I truly hope that you are seeing someone to help you with grief counseling. This is not easy for many reasons, and having a consoling ear may help you deal with this tragedy.
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I will certainly contact a probate attorney based on your advice. Can you further explain the process of establishing fault?
Thank you for your follow-up, Lisa.You are most welcome, contacting a probate an attorney is a very wise solution to this situation. In terms of establishing fault, that would be the probate attorney's obligation--he would in essence have to go to the probate office as soon as possible, provide evidence that your daughter was murdered by the beneficiary, and request a formal injunction (a stay) on all transfers of assets until the issue of who is the rightful heir is resolved. That order would be sent to the insurance companies so that they would not be able to cut the check to the parents, and would in essenve freeze the funds until the probate attorney could show that by transferring the funds his estate would be profiting, and that the assets should go elsewhere and placed in a constructive trust out of which the funds would be transferred based on the state intestate share law, meaning you would be the party to receive the assets.Good luck.Dimitry Esquire41086.2363287847
Just one more question, please. What is the state intestate share law?
Thank you for your follow-up, Lisa.By that I meant that all states have intestate laws set in place if someone dies without a will. These intestate regulations govern who collects, in what percentage or share, under what conditions, and so forth. By contesting you are trying to claim that your daughter passed away with no set directives because the directives have to voided on account of how she passed away. In that situation the courts create an artificial constructive trust, put the assets into this trust, and then transfer the assets out based on these intestate rules. If you are the only parent and she left no spouse behind (obviously) and no issue (no children), you would be the next to inherit under the instate laws.Hope that clarifies.Dimitry Esquire41086.2449827546
I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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