Does a closed estate have to reopened if a life insurance policy is found and the surviving heirs are not listed as beneficiaries?

My father’s estate has been closed for some time now. I received word by mail from a life insurance company that he had insurance that I was not aware of. My grandfather who pre-deceased my father was listed as the beneficiary. Does the estate have to be reopened in order to receive the monies?

Asked on February 29, 2012 under Estate Planning, Indiana


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you will probably have to reopen the estate in order to distribute the funds.  The check is going to be made out to "the estate of" so a bank account is necessary too.  You need to give the court a valid reason to reopen.  Speak with the clerk of the court and although they can not give you legal advice but they can give you guidance.  You might want to have a conference with the court attorney as well.  Good luck.

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