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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38485
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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I have one brother that willingly disowned his entire blood

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I have one brother that willingly disowned his entire blood family. He made multiple statements that he wanted nothing in the way of inheritance and was completely removed from all proceeding after our father passed by choice. Prior to my father’s death, my father removed him from all funds and insurance policies and made me sole beneficiary with the exception of one he forgot. I was told by the company (Jackson National Life) that I could take the matter to probate court or have my brother contact Jackson and simply dis-allow funds making me the sole beneficiary. Being a kind (stupid) person I chose to make contact with my brother and give him the opportunity to take care of the matter without going to court. My brother took the money and ran. Without surprise he has gone rouge without even a ha ha.
Do I have any recourse in this case?
JA: The Lawyer can help you determine if you have a case. Where are you located? These laws vary by state.
Customer: Fresno, California
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so

Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

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I am sorry for this dilemma. But I do not understand your specific question. Do you have a question regarding this matter?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Can I sue my brother for the 38K he took that was not intended for him?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I'm sorry, going back and re-reading my message I can see how it might be confusing. Please let me know what I can explain further.

Well...this depends...the fact your brother did not want the proceeds is not, in the least, relevant.

At all.

But the circumstances of his taking the funds may be relevant...can you provide a bit more context? Was he the sole beneficiary of the policy?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We were co-beneficiaries on everything. My father had multiple mutual funds, cash, and insurance policies. When my brother told him he wanted nothing, my father contacted all is fund managers, account reps, etc. and had my brother removed. He forgot to do the same for this one insurance policy.

Thanks...for this policy (the one remaining)...who was the beneficiary? Your brother? Or the both of you?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I had decided to let the money sit there vs. giving it to him until a Jackson rep told me I had options. I took a chance that my brother would do the right thing and dis-allow the funds.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Both you mention $38K...was half that yours?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No it was his half. I had already withdrew my half.

Thank you, ***** ***** minutes please, I have some thoughts and will type them up.

Thank you for your patience

What you are describing, if the $38K was “his” (meaning he was the named beneficiary)? You have an uphill battle to try and recover that money. You could hire a lawyer….and open probate…and try and sue to recover that money…but I fear that would be a waste of resources.

What you are describing, I understand your father wanted to remove the brother from all accounts. And it sounds like he was mostly successful…it seems he forgot one.

But the problem you have is that he forgot…and his forgetting is not a basis to void the policy. At all.

You can hire a lawyer…and open probate…and you may even be able to convince the probate court judge that this was a mistake. But even if you do all of that? Life insurance policies pass outside of probate…And your brother was the named beneficiary on the policy. Unless you have evidence that your father applied for the chance to the beneficiary and that the company made the mistake? The judge is not going to change the policy.

Basically, to sue and win you have to prove that your father made a written request to change the beneficiary and that the insurance company failed to honor his request.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you can keep your brother from taking this money but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you...I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks for that. As I mentioned I was prepared to let that money rot away before giving my brother the opportunity to claim it. He had refused calls and letters informing him he needed to take action. The Fund manager was an ***** ***** agent and they wanted the account off their books. That's when I contacted Jackson. My father passed March 11, 2016. Has is been to long?

It has not been to long to file a claim to try and prove that the insurance company made a mistake...but from a practical standpoint, unless you have the "smoking gun" (e.g. proof your father made the demand in writing to change the beneficiary and that the insurance company ignored the demand) you would be wasting your would not win unless you have such evidence

Again, I am sorry to be the one to bear bad news.

P. Simmons and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Got it. Thank you.

Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to accept the answer, I truly appreciate that