My husband passed away 3 months ago. His beneficiary for his savings is his daughter. Legally I am his wife. Am I entitled to the money

His daughter is the beneficiary for his savings
account. We have been married for 2 years.
Daughter took his money out of his savings
already. Am I entitled to any of the money.

Asked on June 3, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If the account was in his name only, then he had the right to leave the proceeds in it to whoever he chose. He could have done this via either a POD ("payable on death") or TOD ('transfer on death") designation. Bottom line, even though you were his wife, you have no claim to the account.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, if the bank account was his account only (i.e. not a joint account with you) and was designated as "pay on death" (POD) or "transfer on death" (TOD) to her, then when he passed away, the money became hers; that was how it set it up.

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