Can an adult child sue a surviving spouse for a portion of their deceased parent’s life insurance?

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Can an adult child sue a surviving spouse for a portion of their deceased parent’s life insurance?

My mother passed away from brain cancer. The last month she was living she was very ill and rarely new what was going on. Prior to this, she asked my step father several times for help in creating a will to leave a portion of her life insurance (which he is the beneficiary of) to me. He was able to put it off long enough that it was forgotten about as she was put on bed rest & then she passed. She gave me information on the policies, which does no good because insurance companies only speaking to the primary beneficiary. My mom warned me of him not giving me my share but what can I do now?

Asked on February 9, 2012 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You need to seek legal help in your are as soon as you can.  Do you have any witnesses to your Mother's bequest?  It sounds as if your step father in some way unduly influenced your Mother based upon her state and condition.  What you need to do is to write to the insurance company and let them know tht you are challenging the beneficiary designation and that you request that they "interplead" the funds in to court.  Send the letter by certified mail return receipt requested.  The you and your attorney can decide if your case will be viable.  Good luck.


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