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legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10036
Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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I got a certified letter in the mail yesterday from the New

Customer Question

Hi my name is***** got a certified letter in the mail yesterday from the New York State Controllers Office local retirement system. I live in California. My father passed away in May 2011. My father lived out his last years between New York and California in the winter time. After his passing we cleaned out his house and rented it out. I put in a change of address for him. The letter states that I had some death benefits do me in the amount of around $2,200. They also stated that money was being deposited into his personal checking account. I knew nothing of the money that was owed me and never had any correspondence with them. They're telling me now that the money was systematically withdrawn from his account. In the Riverside California area and different locations. I have no knowledge of that they want to deduct at $2200 from the from the $20,000 Plus Code back to them. Stating that I owe them $18,012 my wife and I spoke last night. We ran into a similar problem with my wife's mother we're a family member had opened accounts in her mother's name. That person was living in our guest house for 2 years around that time in question do I throw that person under the bus they're not returning our calls. And what's the law on that between New York and me living in California?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

So to be clear, it is believed that the relative accessed his account and made unauthorized withdrawals?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
somehow ended up with his debit card we had no idea that account was still open apparently it went on from May 2011 true 2015 it feels as though they're trying to make me responsible for the withdrawals for I was the sole beneficiary of his estate. I did a change of address after we put the house up for rent YouTube Lyon law must have received some kind of mail for my father and would have had access to his information.
Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this;

A beneficiary of an estate is not liable for wrongful withdrawals by a third person as the beneficiary would have no authority, thus no responsibility, over that person.

If a third party, even a relative, wrongfully accessed money to which the beneficiary was entitled, the beneficiary can file a criminal charge, providing the local authorities with the relevant information. Furthermore, the beneficiary can file a suit against that person for conversion (the wrongful taking of a person's property) and sue for the amount of property taken.

CA has a small claim limit of $10,000 so the complaint would need to be filed in Superior court - Limited civil department is appropriate for cases under $25,000

The person wrongfully taking the money can also be charged with identity theft.

If the person lives in CA, the local authorities there would handle the case. CA does have a restitution program so the judge may order that the defendant pay restitution to the victim.

But again, the beneficiary is not liable for withdrawals that the beneficiary did not make.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.