If what are my rights if my father passed away and named me as the sole beneficiary of his life insurance policy?

UPDATED: Apr 25, 2013

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If what are my rights if my father passed away and named me as the sole beneficiary of his life insurance policy?

He did not have a Will and did not have any assets. He lived in an apartment, and didn’t have any vehicles or valuables. I have a younger sister who is 18 and still in High School. She says I stole part of our dads money from her. My sister came to live with me after he died. I took care of her, moved into a bigger home, got a bigger car, etc. I paid for all her expenses. She live 2500 miles away from me, she came with her clothes only. So, she basically had to start over. I paid everyone back who loaned us money to pay for my dads final expenses. Can I be sued by her? My name and my name was listed on the life insurance policy.

Asked on April 25, 2013 under Estate Planning, Oregon


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not your father had a Will is irrelevant here. The fact is that life insurance proceeds pass outside of an estate. Therefore, while as his daughter your sister has rights to his estate, she does not have rights to assets that pass outside of the estate; this includes life insurance proceeds. Bottom line, only the named beneficiary of a life insurance policy has rights to the proceeds (not heirs).

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