Can my deceased grandmother’s retirement firm make me financially responsible for her missing benefit overage?

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Can my deceased grandmother’s retirement firm make me financially responsible for her missing benefit overage?

My grandmother died 5 months ago. Her retirement firm continued to fund her three months after her death. My grandmother made me beneficiary to any overage, but my aunt (and legal guardian/executor to my grandmother’s estate) spent it. The retirement firm wants me to pay for the missing overage. Can they make me financially responsible when I was not her legal guardian and had no access to her bank account?

Asked on December 10, 2011 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you did not spend any of the "overage" paid your grandmother after her passing but rather your aunt did, then you should not be responsible for the reimbursement of these payments to the retirement plan, your aunt should be.

I would write the retirement plan as to what transpired as to the spending of the money after your grandmother's death and request a written response in return. You need to keep a copy of the letter for future reference. I would also speak with your aunt about the need for her to repay the retirement account for payments made after your grandmother's passing that she used.


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