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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55594
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My brother in law passed away suddenly. He died intestate.

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My brother in law passed away suddenly. He died intestate. I am his brother in law (I married his deceased sister). He told me I was the only family he had and said that he had left everything to me...meaning that he was in the process of putting everything in my name). He did with the two ins policies, thank God, but some of the other like brokerage acct, bank account, stock from his company, etc. has no beneficiary. MY QUES IS: As brother in law do I have any chance of receiving any of these accts that have no beneficiary? I am not going to probate since I am not in line with family you know, then it all goes to the state. Please help me.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.

Good morning. If named on the insurance policies, as the designated beneficiary, you will receive those proceeds. But, with regard to everything else, unfortunately you will not due to the decedent dying intestate. Intestate succession rules follow related party lines and since there is no blood relation in any respect, as a brother in law, you would unfortunately not be in the line of parties to inherit any part of the remaining estate. I'm sorry!

Checks delivered prior to death can be cashed, but if they are simply signed and not completed, you would not legally be entitled to complete them now. I'm not saying that if you pre-dated them that somehow you wouldn't be able to get them cashed, but it's not something that you should do. If the brother in law owed you money, the better route is to make a claim against the estate.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The reason I asked about cashing the checks that had already been signed was that when I went to the bank to see if I was listed on the bank acct. (which I wasn't) I had a check for the grocery money Bob had given me and I asked the bank rep if I could possibly get this check cashed. He said, " sure." has been dated before he died and I will be happy to cash it for you, he said. This is why I asked the question. Will you comment from a legal standpoint, please? I am happy to have you looking into this. Thanks!
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.
Yes, this can be cashed. Legally, if a check is completed, dated and delivered pre-death, it must be cashed or the estate must honor it if the account has been closed by the executor of the estate.
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