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Missing documents may lead to probate litigation, other actions

New York residents have a lot to handle after the death of a loved one. Unfortunately, their situations may only become more complicated if the decedent's estate plan was missing important documents or if a lack of clarity regarding beneficiaries exists. This type of scenario may mean that loved ones have to go through probate litigation or take other action in order to address the complications.

One woman in another state experienced such a difficult predicament. According to reports, the woman's husband died in 2016, and she fully expected to obtain the pension that he had earned as a university employee. The woman has multiple sclerosis, and she and her husband had discussed her inheritance of the pension and how it would help her live the rest of her life after his passing.

However, significant issues arose after the university claimed that it did not receive "Form 42," which was apparently needed to indicate that the woman was the beneficiary of her husband's pension. Due to the missing document, the woman had to go through a number of legal affairs while also coping with her husband's death. Unfortunately, she still has not received the pension benefits due to the missing form and a financial inability to keep fighting the legal battle.

When a mistake in paperwork leads to such serious outcomes, it can be devastating for surviving family members. While avoiding estate planning mistakes can certainly help avoid such scenarios, that is not always how things work out. If New York residents have concerns over obtaining assets to which they believe they have a claim as an heir or beneficiary, they may want to consult with legal professionals about probate litigation and other possible legal options.

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