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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 35309
Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 30 years of experience in the legal field.
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Is there recourse to put a hold on pension payments being

Customer Question

Is there recourse to put a hold on pension payments being paid to the beneficiary of a deceased city of Philadelphia employee, who is misappropriating funds, not dispersing funds to other family members as agreed (agreed through family not through pension board), or could possibly be using the funds in ways that could hurt the beneficiary?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. There is just one beneficiary of the pension plan of the deceased---correcty?

2. How are funds paid to the beneficiary being misappropriated?

3. What is the agreement about that involves other family members?

4. How is the beneficiary being harmed by "using the funds"?

This seems like a very crucial matter for you, and your questions and issues suggest that an in-depth conversation might best suit your needs. If you are interested, for a nominal charge I can offer you a phone conference as opposed to continuing in this question and answer thread. I will make that offer to you after I get this posted to your question thread. All you need do is accept the offer if you would like me to call. Let me know if you don't want a call and I can continue here.

Thanks in advance,

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Doug,To answer your questions;1. There is just one beneficiary of the pension plan of the deceased---correcty?Yes, just one, our oldest brother (of 3 children)2. How are funds paid to the beneficiary being misappropriated?The agreement was to divide the amount (approx) $1500.00 (after taxes taken out by beneficiary) and then he would send checks to each of the younger brothers in the amount of approx. $500.00. These funds were dispersed properly, timely between the brothers for almost 20 years until about 14 months ago, the beneficiary stopped sending the checks and dispersing the monies.3. What is the agreement about that involves other family members?A simple verbal agreement to equally share our mother's pension 3 ways for her grandchildren. Our oldest brother (the beneficiary) made the payments to us in private checks each month as he received the lump sum payment from the pension board.4. How is the beneficiary being harmed by "using the funds"?Our brother has had gambling issues over the years and now is using the monies to either pay off old large gambling debts, or could possibly be gambling again, incurring new debts.The simple issue here is can we do something in a civic court (the sum is above $10,000.00 which takes us out of small claims court), since the pension board cannot step in since they are satisfying the wishes of the deceased.I look forward to any advice you could give us.Thanks,
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

Thanks for the additional information.

I'm afraid that I do not have good news for you. While there may have been an agreement between the Beneficiary of the pension plan and your mother, or even between the beneficiary and you and your other sibling, those promises were bare promises, not supported by consideration and did not create a legally enforceable contractual agreement.

Neither does the fact that he may have in the past actually made payments that corresponded to the promises made mean that he has somehow unilaterally created a contract.

The deceased did nothing more than name a beneficiary of her pension, and under law, the pension assignment was a contract and the only contract in this regard.

There is no law being broken by your brother failing to continue to divide the payments as you say was promised. He has broken a promise to each of you and perhaps to your mother as well, but that does not give you any legal recourse.

Were you to tell me that there was a written contract between your mother and the beneficiary indicating that she would name him as beneficiary so long as he would agree to the division of the money, then I would say that as a third party beneficiary of that written contract you have grounds to sue to enforce that contract. However, absent such a contract, you have no legal basis to sue. I am sorry.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

Would you please take a moment to positively rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided by clicking on the rating stars---three stars or more. It is that easy. That is the way I am compensated for having helped you.

Thank you in advance. I wish you the best in your future,

Doug