Can my older brother keep a life insurance payout on our late mother’s policy if it was in his name only?

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Can my older brother keep a life insurance payout on our late mother’s policy if it was in his name only?

My mom passed away and she had no living Will. All he had was a power of attorney for her healthcare and my older brother was in charge of her. She had a $10,000 life insurance policy and she placed it in his name only. However, she always said that when she passed away each of her children was to get $2,500. My old brother now says that’s since the policy was only in his name that all the money is his and he will not be giving any money to any of us. Is this legal or can I take him to small claims court to get my portion of the life insurance?

Asked on March 14, 2018 under Insurance Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, this situation happens all to often. And just as unfortunately, non-listed family members have no rights to life insurance proceeds. Legally, only the person listed as the beneficiary of the policy is the one who is entitled to collect and keep the money. 


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