Must I reopen probate for a newly discovered life insurance policy?

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Must I reopen probate for a newly discovered life insurance policy?

The policy was discovered 8 years after probate was closed by the Chancery court Tenn. Normally, as I understand it, life insurance policies are not part of probate, rather are paid directly to the beneficiary. In this case, there is no beneficiary listed, so the only recipient would be the closed estate. The amount is vey small 2,000 and would likely be quickly consumed by the court and the probate attorney in fees. Can I legally ignore the policy as I was the executor and only beneficiary of the estate?

Asked on December 4, 2018 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can ignore the policy. There is no obligation to present claims under an insurance policy: the insured (or in this case, the beneficiary--the estate) is free to make a cost-benefit decision and choose to not claim if it would not be worthwhile.


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