Q: My dad recently died with a will leaving everything he owned to me as his only child, but he named his girlfriend as a beneficiary on a savings account with over $25,000 in it. Who has the legal right to that money?
A: Unfortunately, Probate Code Section 5302(b)(2) is very clear that in this case, the named beneficiary on the savings account (the girlfriend) will inherit ALL of the sums therein, even if the decedent had a will naming a different beneficiary (the child). Estate planning has many traps for the unwary, so make sure you enlist the help of a qualified estate planning attorney!
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