Expression Of Wish & Beneficiaries

I’m looking for some advice.

My father passed away a month or so ago and my sister and I are currently dealing with his estate. We were contacted by his employer who said he had a workplace pension and also a separate death in service benefit.

They told us that my father had put down my sister and I as beneficiaries to receive the pension and a lump lump death in service payment. We subsequently heard from the pension and insurance providers who have both passed the cases onto ‘trustees’ to make the final decision on where the money should go. He did not leave a will.

My father was still married to my mother. They had been separated for 10 years and living apart and not in contact. It was a bad break up and although I have some contact with my mum she has not been a big part of my sisters of my life. I arranged the funeral and sorting everything out around his death, my mother had no involvement other than receiving all of his money in the bank and choice of possessions due to the rules when someone dies ‘intestate’ (without a will) it went to my mum, the next of kin.

How likely is it that the trustees will pay the death in service and pension benefits to my mother? Do they rarely object to the ‘expression of wish’?

My sister and I feel that my dad would have wanted us, and our children to benefit from this so feel it should be split between us as my mother has already benefited from the estate.

Any help / advice would be appreciated.

Replies

  • xylophonexylophone Forumite
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     The expression of wishes is a request to the trustees of your father's pension scheme, setting out  the name (s) of the person (s) he'd like to receive any death benefits payable on his death. It's not binding on the trustees  but they  will  take  his wishes into consideration when making their decision. 
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    How likely is it that the trustees will pay the death in service and pension benefits to my mother? Do they rarely object to the ‘expression of wish’?

    My sister and I feel that my dad would have wanted us, and our children to benefit from this so feel it should be split between us as my mother has already benefited from the estate.

    Any help / advice would be appreciated.

    My commiserations.
    Surely its more than "feel", you *know* what he wanted thats why he put you and sis on the form.
    I cant see why they would pay it to your mother, but what she potentially could do is raise a legal challenge, for example "it would have been included in a divorce settlement" or something like that.
  • hjbatchelorhjbatchelor Forumite
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    xylophone said:
     The expression of wishes is a request to the trustees of your father's pension scheme, setting out  the name (s) of the person (s) he'd like to receive any death benefits payable on his death. It's not binding on the trustees  but they  will  take  his wishes into consideration when making their decision. 
    Thanks - that's exactly how I understand it.
    I had to fill in a 'family investigation form' and put down my mothers details as they didn't have her address etc...

    I guess I'm just wondering what the chances are that they may decide she is entitled to a share considering the personal circumstances relating to their split and the fact he only put my sister and myself down. I guess we will just have to wait and see what they decide.
  • lazyredlazyred Forumite
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    Are you sure the expression of wish applies to a survivior pension and not just to the Death in Service? It is unusual to pay a pension to adult children. The wife will get the spouse pension even if seperated but you have a good case for the Death in Service.
  • LHW99LHW99 Forumite
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    lazyred said:
    Are you sure the expression of wish applies to a survivior pension and not just to the Death in Service? It is unusual to pay a pension to adult children. The wife will get the spouse pension even if seperated but you have a good case for the Death in Service.

    True if the pension is DB, but I think the information above is "workplace pension" so if DC is a "pot" and inheritable?
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