How do I get to claim my late husband’s share ofa life insurance distribution?

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How do I get to claim my late husband’s share ofa life insurance distribution?

My mother-in-law had a life insurance that needed to be distributed. The primary beneficiary listed was her husband who died before she did. My mother-in-law had 3 children: a daughter, my late husband, and another son. My late husband passed away almost 3 years ago and did not have any wills or trusts. My husband and I have 2 sons who are currently attending college. How do I get to claim in behalf of my late husband his share of the life insurance distribution?

Asked on January 11, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Thereis a key question here that needs to be answered: was there a contingent beneficary on the beneficary designation to the life ninsurance policy? Life insurance policies pass out side the estate, meaning that they are not part of the probate estate if there is a designation of beneficiary properly on file.  If there was not contingent beneficiary then the estate of your mother in law would have inherited the proceeds.  If there was a Will then the Will would govern the distribution and it usually has a provision in it dealing with the share of a beneficary that predeceases the testator (that would be your husband).  If ther eis no Will then your state intestacy statute applies.  I would suggest getting legal help here.  Good luck.


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