Legal Question in Civil Litigation in New York

My brother passed away in a car accident in 2009. He had a structured annuity. His live in girlfriend paid on a judgement against him and was able to rebuy his annuity back in 2004. My brother passed away and listed in his will 3 beneficiaries. There is no loan agreement with the girlfriend, but she has a check that she paid the annuity company $49,000 to buy back the structured annuity that pays out every 3 yrs up until 8 yrs. Payments were made every month to them as well as a lump sum payment totaling 117,000 while they were living together. There was severe drug abuse with my brother and this girlfriend and that is most likely where most of this money went. She was not listed as a beneficiary to this annuity (don't know why she did not demand that at the time she paid). She is now saying we (the beneficiaries) owe her this money.

Question: What is the statute of limitations on this sort of thing in NY? and does she have a winnable case against the beneficiaries to regain any of this money?

Asked on 6/17/10, 1:03 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys


Girlfriend may have a cause of action to sue your brother's estate on the alleged $49,000. "loan". However, her chance of winning appears small. Although the Statutute of Limitations, as a defense would probably not hold, failure of specific terms of the alleged loan agreements (ie., failure of a writing) and failure of your brother to begin regular repayment (or complete repayment by living rent free,), would likely be evidence that it was not a loan..

In addition, Insurance proceeds w/ named beneficiaries are usually not subject to attachment by a judgment creditor upon a deceased' estate,. And, if the Insurance Company did not withhold payment to the named insurance beneficiaries, after reviewing girlfriend's claim, it is unlikely a Court would subsequently decide that girlfriend had a "property or monetary interest" in your brother's annuity policy that should be repaid by the Insurance Company who (it would have to be alleged) wrongfully distributed to improper parties, to wit: the beneficiaries..

Good luck,

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Answered on 6/21/10, 10:29 am

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