How canI cash my father’s term life insurance policy check if it is made out to his estate, care of me?

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How canI cash my father’s term life insurance policy check if it is made out to his estate, care of me?

My father died a couple of years ago. Recently I received a term life insurance check made out to his estate in care of myself. I went to cash it, but was unable to do so since it is addresses to his estate. My family fought over the other money and properties after his death and unfortunately I didn’t fight with them and in turn I didn’t receive anything. I do not want them to get this check, but I need to know how I can get the insurance company to change it over in my name per their request. Do I take out a legal notice in the local paper? What else can I do?

Asked on July 13, 2011 under Estate Planning, Kansas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for all the problems surrounding your father's estate. And I hate to say this to you but brace yourself for some more fighting.  If the insurance policy did not name anyone specifically as the beneficiary of the policy then the insurance policy can not legally write the check to anyone except the estate. And because it did not name anyone specific it must be included as part of the probate estate.  Did you actually go through the probate court and file an probate or administration proceeding?  Then you need to open up the proceeding to include the money. I think that you should seek help from an attorney to sort through what happened before and stand up for yourself.  Good luck. 


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