If my mother passed but didn’t leave a beneficiary on her retirement, how do I go about a letter testamentary?

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If my mother passed but didn’t leave a beneficiary on her retirement, how do I go about a letter testamentary?

Asked on May 4, 2015 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Is there a Will and a person named as the executor?  Then that person would file a Petitoon for Probate of the Will and to be appointed as the Executor and Letters testamentary would be issued.  If your Mother died with out a Will then she is said to have died "intestate" and you as her next of kin can apply to be the Persoanl Representative (or Administrator) of the estate and then letters would be appointed to you as well.  Go on to your local Bar Association website for a detailed overview and get the forms from the Probate Court.  If Mom had a lot of assets then it could get complicated.  The retirement will be paid to her estate so there needs to be an estate account set up after appointment.  Good luck.


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