Right to monies cashed before death but listed in will

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Right to monies cashed before death but listed in will

My father passed about 5 month ago. He had a large sum in savings bonds that were to be used for hospice care in the event they were needed, otherwise the money was to be given to my brother, my children and I. Our stepmother decided it was best to have him cash them and put the proceeds into an account with her name several days before his passing. Long story short we are getting the basic gist that she has been advised that since they are no longer in the form of bonds and now in her name, she technically did not have to give us the money. However, my understanding is that the estate is still open and we have never been allowed to see the ill. Do we have any recourse if she does not follow through with our father’s wishes? This was publicly discussed between all of its prior to his death and the estate attorney is aware as is other parties. Do we have a right to request to see the Will?

Asked on September 17, 2016 under Estate Planning, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not have any recourse. In the first place, if his wishes were not expressed in a written legal document, like a will, they are not enforceable at all--someone's oral expression of what they'd like to be done with  their assets has no binding effect. Second, even if they had been expressed in a written will, a will only comes into effect upon death, and does not in any way control what happens to the assets listed in the will prior to death--the will basically says "IF I still have those assets when I pass away, use them for...." Therefore, if he cashed them and gave the proceeds to your step mother while he was still alive, the proceeds are hers no, and whatever wishes he may otherwise have expressed orally or in a will or similar document have no effect.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption