Can I re-open a probate after 5 years?

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2011

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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


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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