How can I become beneficiary of a life insurance policy?

My brother recently died. While calling his union about his death, I found out that he had a $15,000 life insurance policy with my mother as beneficiary. The problem is that my mom died 6 years ago and he didn’t change the beneficiary. I am his brother and he lived with me. How can I get access to this money?

Asked on June 11, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

At this point, since the benefciiary of the policy is deceased, the money policy proceeds will become an asset of your brother's estate. If he dies with a Will, then the executor wilhandle the discribution acccordingt to the terms of the Will. If he deid without a Will, then you can go to the probate court and get appointed as the personal representaive of the estate. Then, as your brother's heir, you can collect your inheritance, assuming that he left no surviving spouse or children since in that event they would inherit first. If this policy is the only asset that your brother had, then you may be able to file for a small estate probate which is ceahper and faster than a formal probate process. At this point, you can check online for his state's requirement for filing for such an estate.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

At this point, since the benefciiary of the policy is deceased, the money policy proceeds will become an asset of your brother's estate. If he dies with a Will, then the executor wilhandle the discribution acccordingt to the terms of the Will. If he deid without a Will, then you can go to the probate court and get appointed as the personal representaive of the estate. Then, as your brother's heir, you can collect your inheritance, assuming that he left no surviving spouse or children since in that event they would inherit first. If this policy is the only asset that your brother had, then you may be able to file for a small estate probate which is ceahper and faster than a formal probate process. At this point, you can check online for his state's requirement for filing for such an estate.


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