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Trusts & Estates Law/Probate and new asset


My question concerns an annuity distribution paid out to the estate of my decesased dad. My aunt died in 1998. She has dad designated as primary beneficiary. He dies 2009. I get contacted in 2012(as executor,son)that Ins.Co. wants to pay out on this annuity they've been holding for almost 15 tears. They make check payable to the Estate of John Doe. Register of Wills considers new asset as probate property. ROW has me publish new notice,recontact old creditors,etc.etc, the usual. Well, creditors have 6 months - they never contact me.Over those 3 yrs, 5 old creditors send me 1099-C's and 1 withdraws; never hear or heard a thing from the others.      So, old original,small,insolvent,closed estate is reopened. Nothing from any of the creditors. No matter which date one would use(date accounts charged-off or account past due, or when closed) it's over 3 yrs. It's over 3 years even from file dates of creditors claims. Additionally, dad never surrendered or owned this asset in his name only at time of death;he never owned it period. I plan on telling probate claims are time barred. My state's SOL has run out on no matter what date you use for anything. Why did they consider this as probate property? Why did they have me get a bond when it expressly excuses necessity for giving bond in the will? I'm the executor and only legatee; my brother's were not mentioned in will. I plan on paying the income/estate taxes, but I don't feel this asset is subject to creditor claims especially when it's outside the SOL. Did the ROW goof on admitting this property to probate? Did they goof on having me get a bond? The will is in their possession and on the case docket? Didn't they bother to read it? And, the asset was never owned by dad; he never got to claim it as the beneficiary to receive! It was the dead, bequething to the dead. The insurance too. Why did they hang on to this thing for 15 years before contacting me(or dad for that fact)?        Mr. Friztler, could you take the time for a comment or two? What do you think? Did ROW goof?   Thanks so very much in advance.

Welcome to the world of "Administrative Agencies".

No, the administrative agency did not read the will. "That is not their job".
No, the administrative agency does not need to make sure what they do is right. "They just want to make sure that you can't do anything wrong".
No, the administrative agency doesn't actually understand the process they are supervising. "They leave it to the people that work there to make their own procedural decisions".
No, the administrative agency is not responsible if they force you to do more work than is necessary, nor are they responsible if they inflict added cost.
Even if it a flagrant violation of reasonableness no person will claim responsibility nor will the agency be held responsible.

All of your arguments would have been more timely if they were made before you spent the money on a bond and the time reopening probate.

If all creditors had been satisfied in the first round, then you had already fulfilled on the obligations as the Executor. But you claimed it was insolvent; if creditors existed that were not paid, that Annuity #or at least the current 1998-2009 distributions# should/would be used to satisfy those creditors.

As for the creditor claims. . .

You can claim they don't have a right, however as the executor, you have a fiduciary obligation to do what the law requires. If you act improperly, each harmed creditor can pursue you personally for the entirety of their claims and the costs to recover.

Fiduciary obligations should not be taken lightly. In addition to finding all the creditors you were also supposed to find all the assets.

If I read your explanation correctly the Insurance Company failed to aggressively pursue payout. While I would like to think there is a forum to hold that administrative agency accountable, there is not.

Richard Fritzler  

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Comparing the advantages and requirements of traditional estate practices, and unconventional methods? Are Trusts a viable asset protection vehicle? Is there an alternative to buying life insurance to reduce the impact of the estate tax. Is the elimination of the estate tax during the next decade good for everyone? I can review the benefits and misinformation that exists.


I have been in the business of assisting business owners in reducing their taxes and liability for over 17 years. We specialize in developing plans that eliminate the estate tax, not find a way to prepay it. Most small businesses do not survive the death of the principal. We want small businesses to not only survive, but flourish.

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