How do I claim my father’s life insurance policy when he had no beneficiary named?

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How do I claim my father’s life insurance policy when he had no beneficiary named?

My father passed away in January
2018 in Altoona, PA. He had a life
insurance policy thru the company
he worked for but it did not have a
beneficiary named on it. I am the
oldest of his two living children.
He was not married so from my
understanding I am his next of kin.
My younger brother, his 2nd child
is currently in Cherokee County
Jail. I live in Marietta, GA and
have no means to hire a lawyer or
make a trip up to Altoona to handle
this situation. Any suggestions or
advice would be greatly
appreciated. Thank you for your
time.

Asked on May 8, 2018 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The policy goes to his estate when there is no beneficiary named and will be distributed with his other money and assets according to his will, if he had one, or intestate succession  (the rules for who gets what when there is no will) if he did not. If by intestate succession, if he was unmarried at death, it wil lbe split between you and your sibling.
Assuming there is no will (you do not mention one), you need to be appointed personal representative for the estate by the probate court in the county in which he lived. If you can't afford an attorney, contact the court (the clerk's office) online and/or by phone; you should be able to get or be directed to instructions. Once you have the court appointment as personal representative (generally called "letters testamentary"), you can use that to open up an estate bank account, then to contact the insurer and have them pay the money to the estate account, for later distribution to the heirs (you and your brother).


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