Can my dad deny his share of an inheritance and give it to me?
January 26, 2011 2:07 PM Subscribe
Need advice on a legal matter. Not sure what type of lawyer I need. What type of lawyer handles this and do you have any recommendations?
posted by Pleadthefifth to law & government (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's the story, as concise as I can be:
I am in New York State, specifically Bronx County. My mother passed away in 2006. She had a pension/insurance plan with her job. She worked for New York State at a government job if that makes any difference. Myself, my brother and my father were all named as beneficiaries to her pension/insurance. My brother and I collected our shares of the inheritance in 2007. There was no will, just the naming of myself, my brother and my father as beneficiaries to her insurance policy.
Here is where it gets tricky. My father has Parkinson's Disease in a very advanced stage and lives in a nursing home. I have a Durable Power of Attorney for my dad to take care of his affairs. First, I have a question -- If my father collects his share of the inheritance, will it all go to the nursing home he resides at? My brother is disabled and I'm currently in college and looking for work. This inheritance, though rather small (five figures) would help us greatly and I know my father would want the money to go to myself and my brother. Would any sort of attorney even take this case? Do I need an attorney? What type of attorney would I need and where would I find the attorney? I am completely on my own and have no relatives to speak to regarding this matter.
I just received a letter addressed to my dad saying he needs to respond to it in order to collect his share of the inheritance, but am at a loss as to what to send back. What happens if he doesn't collect the money? Will it vanish into a void of nothingness? I cannot afford that. I am trying to be as rational as I possibly can about this but all the Googling in the world isn't helping me right now.
This is another tricky part: At some point during the process (I was 20 years old when it happened, I am now 24), someone who worked for NYS Retirement and Pension service told me that my father could deny his share of the inheritance and instead choose to give it to someone else, which in this case would be me. Is this true and how would I go about doing it? I am really lost, really tight on cash and don't have anyone to turn to other than friends who are as clueless as I am... I hope some of you can help, it would be greatly appreciated. Any advice would be great.