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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 29202
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My brother died intestate in March, leaving almost nothing

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My brother died intestate in March, leaving almost nothing but a small insurance policy through his employers. We have a complicated situation with this: I have a brother and a sister, and the daughter of our late sister (to clarify, there were five of us, and now there are three siblings). However, this niece is not competent, and is in care. She has a trust fubd (about £200,000) for future needs, but it is not possible to pay into that fund. If we pay the share (about £13,000) into her account she immediately loses state support for a few weeks and then must reapply for that support when it runs out. It is clearly not in her interests. Is there a way of us not paying to her.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. I will certainly try to clarify your options.

may I clarify, have you been in touch with the insurer to ascertain who was entitled to the insurance monies please? the reason for my question is that many policies of this kind are held in trust and therefore, if it is, it is not inevitable that the proceeds of the policy will devolve according to the intestacy rules but there may be nomination form at your brother made as regards ***** ***** entitled to receive the benefit of the policy

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
The insurance policy was paid to my sister, who was named as my brother's next of kin (she is the eldest!). I should also mention the the trustees are unhappy with the money being paid to my niece as it will not benefit but harm her.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I should also add that the policy was through his employers, who then verified that the money should be paid to my sister.

thank you. Do you know if your sister or indeed you have confirmed with the policy administrators or trustees, who is the beneficiary of the policy? For example, is your sister who was nominated, the beneficiary of the policy or does the policy belong to your brothers estate? Perhaps you haven't asked this question?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
My sister was nominated; the benefit was paid into her personal account by the policy administrators.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
PS. There is no issue between the three siblings. Our brother expressly stated he wanted the three of us to share everything between us.

thank you. In order to be certain, I would either need sight of the insurance policy or a statement by the trustees in the above respect as regards ***** ***** from the policy and if you have not obtained this, it would be sensible to seek specific confirmation from the administrators or trustees, who the beneficiary of the policy is. from what you are telling me, I am inferring that your sister has been nominated as the beneficiary of the policy and if this is the case, then the money does not belong to your brother's estate that rather belongs to your sister personally and, whilst I note she has no intention of claiming the entire sum for herself, in the circumstances, it would be open to her to simply keep the entire amount and not share it. The position would be different if the policy is to be paid to your brother's estate and has simply been paid to your sister for convenience but such policies typically do not work in this way.

If my above inferences correct, then it follows that it is up to your sister to decide with whom to share the proceeds of the policy and in what proportions. If she is desirous of sharing the policy equally between all the siblings and in the case of your sadly deceased sister, her daughter taking her mother's share, then as regards ***** ***** siblings, she can simply divide the policy and pay them their respective shares as she sees fit.

In respect of your niece, your sister may decide rather than paying the share directly to her which as you have outlined, would have some consequences for her, she could establish what is known as a protective trust which is probably similar to the kind of trust she already has. If the trustees of that trust are willing to accept further monies, then they could be nominated as trustees for that trust alternatively different trustees could be nominated which could be for example, selected from your siblings. If the existing trustees for the knees are willing to so act, then although the existing trust may not be able to accept further funds though this would be rather unusual, then aa new trust could be drawn up nominating the same trustees to manage the funds and they could simply then managed to separate trust funds

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Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you. My sister seems paranoid about the state listening in and then prosecuting her... She is not a crazy, but a highly educated person!

I'm glad the above answers all your questions. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me otherwise thank you very much for visiting JustAnswer and I hope we will see you again in the future.