Do I get any of my late mother’s pension?

I’m 35 years old and unemployed. My mom passed away last month from uterine cancer, blood clots and kidney failure. The reason

for this email is her name was on the bills, checking accounts, mortgage account, etc. She used to pay the bills with her pension. She and my dad divorced 20 years ago and she never remarried. My father remarried but is divorced again. I have no brothers or sisters. I’m not married nor do I have any kids. Is there anyway you can help me or at least point me in the right direction?

Asked on January 2, 2018 under Estate Planning, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no inherent legal right to receive a deceased parent's pension. It is *possible*, but unlikely, that this particular pension said that if the person passed away, an adult child would get the pension, though that is much more common for a spouse or a minor child to be eligible to keep receiving it (and even that is not common--it's just more common). Only if the terms of *this* pension have it keep coming to you will you receive it. Therefore, you should contact the pension itself (look at the documents she received from it for contact information) to see if there is any chance you will continue to get it.
The above is about a true pension. A 401(k) or IRA you would inherit, together with any other living siblings of yours (if any), but you would need to go through the probate court to get legal title to it and authority over the account(s).


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