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Alexia Esq.
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My Father passed and left a Prudential Annuity in which he

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My Father passed and left a Prudential Annuity in which he designated my sister as the beneficiary. My father did leave a will in which it states.I have two adult children     
follows:JAMES and JAcquline I give, devise and bequeath my entire estate, whether real personal or mixed, of every kind, nature and description whatsoever and wheresoever situated, which I may now own hereafter acquire or have the right to dispose of at the time of my decease, by power of appointment or otherwise, to my children, JAMES and JACQUELINE , absolutely and in fee simple, share and share alike, with representation.

Now my sister does not want to share the Prudential Annuity so is possible for me to contest the payout so that it complys to my fathers will ?
Regards James



Thank you for your question and I look forward to assisting you. Please keep in mind that I can only respond to your post and the information contained in it, as I do not know what you know unless you describe it fully. Also, oftentimes there are future facts that are as yet undetermined in your matter, that can and must leave some areas of information provided by me broad in nature. However, don't hesitate to ask for clarification if needed! At times, there can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break. That being said...


Unfortunately, unless you think there was duress, coersion or some other reason for invalidating his choice of beneficiary under the annuity contract, you will not be able to successfully contest the payout. Think of it like a life insurance policy - the proceeds go the to beneficiaries in that contract and not through the will. Annuities do not pass through a will but rather to a named beneficiary by operation of contract. For this reason they can be given to the next generation without going through the often cumbersome and potentially expensive process of probate.


Another way to look at it: let's say your dad left an annuity to his friend Jack. Then he passsed, leaving his estate to you and your sister. You and your sister would not be able to defeat the annuity to his beneficiary Jack. Another way to look at it, in terms of the binding nature of contracts, even upon death: You dad buys a car and promises to pay $500/mo for 3 years. He passes after the first year, still owing 2 years of $500 payments. His estate owes this $24,000 (2 years of $500 payments. This debt, via contract, must be paid from his estate before the remainder gets divvied up between you and your sister.


Your dad' s decision to leave an annuity to your sister was within his rights and the will can not change that, it was already given to her. Again, without a reason to contest that contract, i.e. duress, not being of sound mind, etc. it will generally stand.


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