If my dad passed away without a Will andI was his beneficiary, can the insurance company and funeral home give out private information to my sister?

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If my dad passed away without a Will andI was his beneficiary, can the insurance company and funeral home give out private information to my sister?

The funeral home called the insurance company and got info on a check from his policy and called my in-law and told him that I had recieved a check and how much it was. My sister called the insurane company and they sent her a copy of it. There was no Will. She got all the contents in and out of the home, and cars. I split the check between my 2 sons. Her son got the home and land. I paid for all the funeral arrangements out of the policy. There was not a whole lot left. My sister wants it, and this has caused destruction in my family. If they would have kept this private it would have been fine.

Asked on July 13, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

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 the problems that have resulted.  I am assuming that this was a life insurance policy that had you as the designated beneficiary, correct?  No, the insurance company should not have given out beneficiary information to anyone, nor sent copies of anything to anyone, other than you.  A life insurance policy that has a proper beneficiary designation filed with the insurance company passes "outside the estate" and is not considered as part of your Father's estate to be divided.  The other things you mentioned here are, though, part of the estate and you are entitled to half just like your sister.  I would seek some legal help here.  Good luck.


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