How do we find any additional life insurance policies he may have had? How do we find out what is supposed to happen with the house he left behind?

My daughter’s father passed away in 2010, when she was 9 yrs old. I was able to cash an insurance policy for her but i’m sure that he had several policies. She is now 18 and we want to find out if there were other policies so that she can cash them in. Also he was mortgaging a home at the time of his death, which his brother lived in for several years but after a small fire his brother moved out and the house has been abandoned for about 4 years now. How do we find out if my daughter is entitled to the property and go about obtaining it.

Asked on March 30, 2017 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You need some sort of a starting point regarding all of this.  You say that you are sure that he had several policies.  Why are you so sure?  Were they through his employer (a good place to start)?  Do you remember his talking about the policies at all?  You can write to the insurance companies that you think may hold the policy and inquire (although now that your daughter is 18 she can ).  Also, is she the only legal heir under the law?  Also remeember that you can designate beneficiaires on insurance policies so they funds may have been paid out to others.  Was an estate filed?  Check the local Probate Court.  If he owned the house alone and your daughter is the only heir then it is hers under the law but that will have to go through Probate to be dealt with.  I strongly suggest that you seek legal help.  Good luck.  

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