Can I gain access to life insurance check that is made out to an estate without opening an estate?

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Can I gain access to life insurance check that is made out to an estate without opening an estate?

I have a check from a life insurance company for $2500. There was no beneficiary on the account so it is written to the estate. There was never an estate opened. Is there anyway to gain access to the money without opening an estate? If an estate is opened, the money will likely go to creditors. Also, the cost of the estate is not trivial on this amount.

Asked on April 13, 2012 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Unfortunately there is no way to cash that check unless an estate account is opened on behalf of the decedent's estate.   Doing otherwise would get you in to a whole heap of trouble.  If creditors are owed then they are owed.  You can, though, negotiate with them.  Good luck.


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