Can I re-open a probate after 5 years?

My brother-in-law died 3 months ago and my father-in-law was the beneficiary. He died 5 years ago. The insurance company wrote check to my father-in-law’s estate. What do we do now? I was the personal rep for him.

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Rather than going through the time and expense of having to re-open up a closed probate that has been closed where your father-in-law was the beneficiary under the insurance policy of your recently deceased brother-in-law, you should write the insurance company that issued the life insurance policy check advising the following:

1. that you were the executor of your father-in-law's estate that closed sending a copy of the letter's testamentary naming you as such;

2. state that under the will of your father-in-law that certain people were to receive the residue of your father-in-law's estate and that they are entitled to the insurance check sent in the name of your father-in-law who did not survive your brother-in-law requesting that a new check be issued in their names returning a copy of the one previously sent.

Good luck.

 


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