Can an inmate’s life insurance inheritance be protected until he is released?

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Can an inmate’s life insurance inheritance be protected until he is released?

Father left policy to ensure inmate would be taken care of when released. Prisoner in a NYS prison.

Asked on May 27, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I think that it would be best to seek help from an attorney in your area familiar with prisoner's rights AND estate planning.  Some states - such as Arkansas - have enacted legislation that allows the state to attach assets inherited by a prisoner for reimbursement for the care and custody of the inmate while in prison. It helps to defer the cost of their incarceration that is paid for with state tax dollars.  The prisoner can, of course, keep any amount after the cost is deducted but realistically that could be nothing.  If the Father is still alive it may be a good idea to place the policy in a trust or some such other protected leagl entity, if in fact it is protected in New Jersey. 


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