Can a father leave all of his insurance money to a child if he is married?

My father left all his insurance to me. My mother would like to know if that is against the lw as she is his legal wife. If it is illegal how do we switch it over to her?

Asked on July 27, 2010 under Insurance Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  Insurance proceeds are known to "pass outside the estate" of a person.  That means that a person can designate any beneficiary that they wish and that the money will be payable on the death of the insured to the beneficiary without it having to go through probate.  It is money not counted in the estate. No, it is not illegal.  A wife has what is known as a "right of election" in most states against an estate if they are in some way left less than they are required by law to receive in the Will.  If your mother received a house and bank accounts, etc., then she probably got what the law requires.  If she has any other concerns then she should speak with a lawyer in your area about it.  Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.