Can a prisoner inherit a house and an insurance prodeeds while incarcerated?

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Can a prisoner inherit a house and an insurance prodeeds while incarcerated?

My son (age 43) is a prisoner. He’s my only direct heir. If I (age 63) die while he’s in prison can he still inherit my house? Market value is approximately $279,000 with a mortgage debt of $41,000. Also, I have an $50,000 insurance policy of which he is the named beneficiary.

Asked on April 6, 2012 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You will need to consult with an attorney who handles and has expertise with unique situations in estate planning. Here is the problem. While your son may inherit from you, you need to find out if there is restitution owed to victims or if your son owes money to the state in fines or to his defense counsel (especially if one was stated appointed). If the answer is yes to any of these, that money would automatically be taken to pay those debts. Further, if he takes usually subject to the loan, he would need to find a way to be a mortgagor (highly unlikely if he is incarcerated). This basically means that unless that house is paid for when you pass, he will most likely lose that home to foreclosure.


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