What to do about an overpayment of an annuity?

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What to do about an overpayment of an annuity?

My mother just recently passed away. As my father’s beneficiary, for the last 12 years she had been receiving a check from his retirement fund (an annuity benefit). As administrator of her estate I received a letter claimed that they paid my mother 2 extra years in benefits and are requesting the money back. My mother’s estate has a $0.00 balance, all funds in her estate went to funeral costs.Who is responsible for the overpayment?

Asked on August 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your mother was responsible for the overpayment.  Since she passed away, her estate is responsible.  If the balance in your mother's estate is $0.00, then $0.00 is what it will pay.  You are not responsible for this just because you are the administrator of your mother's estate.  If you have a lawyer representing you, he or she can verify this.  The important thing is to follow your state's probate procedures and use the estate's assets to pay the claims against the estate "in the order of preference" specified by your state law.  In Florida, claims such as this one have a low priority and funeral costs are paid long before this type of claim has to be paid.  I would expect other states to have similar preferences. 


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