Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Texas

Our daughter died without a will leaving two children behind. She had a $50,000 life insurance policy and a $17,000 retirement package. The ex-son-in-law kept everything saying that her hospital bills took all the life insurance policy. He said that when the oldest child was 18 he would transfer half the $17,000 to her and when the young turned 18 he would do the same. Six years later our oldest grand-daughter is now 18 and the ex-son-in-law won't even answer our emails. This low life has cheated our grand-daughters out of money they could use for college. He stole their inheritance. Now that my grand-daughter is 18 can she get an attorney to go after this guy or is it too late?

Asked on 6/15/16, 11:20 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Keith Engelke Law Office of S. Keith Engelke

Life insurance policies and retirement plans are often not covered by probate law. These are contracts with third parties where a beneficiary upon death is often designated. It is possible that the hospital required that the life insurance policy be pledged to the hospital before they would do any work. It is also possible, perhaps even likely that the spouse was the beneficiary of the retirement plan. Your oldest grand-daughter can check through the probate records of the probate court where her mom resided when she died. If an estate was opened for her mom, it should be in these records. I suggest she contact a local probate lawyer. That attorney can look look at the records if there are any. Also he can contact the hospital and employer to check out the story you were told. Since your oldest grand daughter just turned 18, it is not too late to pursue an action in court. However if she waits too long, her claim could be barred by the statute of limitations.

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Answered on 6/15/16, 12:03 pm

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