Inheritance needs court processing


POSTED: Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Question: My mother had an annuity with New York Life.

She died in 2007 and named my daughter as one of the beneficiaries. My daughter is a minor.

I was informed that to enable my daughter to claim her share of the annuity, I would have to prove legal guardianship.

My wife and I are the biological parents. We are the legal guardians but how do we prove this?

The court system has only the process to be appointed legal guardians.

Answer: The insurance companies will not release the proceeds to legal parents as they require protections for your daughter's funds.

This can be done through a conservatorship, and you will need to petition the court to be appointed co-conservators.

It is much like a petition to be appointed legal guardian, but it is called a conservatorship because it would be just for her property.

The property has to be conserved for the benefit of the minor and turned over to the minor upon reaching 18 years old.

If appointed, the conservator then has to submit written inventories to the court, as ordered, usually annually.