What to do if my husband passed away and I just found out the his former in-laws have a life insurance policy on him?

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What to do if my husband passed away and I just found out the his former in-laws have a life insurance policy on him?

He had been divorced from his previous wife for over 13 years. Are they allowed to carrier life insurance on him?

Asked on April 8, 2013 under Insurance Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In order to have a valid life insurance policy on someone, the owner must have what is called an "insurable interest". This means they must possess a legal justification as to why they have taken out such a policy on someone. For example, the breadwinner of the family may want to take a policy out on themself in order provide for their spouse and children in the event of their death or, in the case of a divorce, an ex-wife may want to insure her ex-husband's life if he is to provide spousal support for her and/or child support for their children. However, an in-law having an insurable interest would be peculiar under normal circumstances, and the fact that your husband was their ex-son-in-law further makes having a policy on him even more peculiar. However, that's not to say there is no justifiable reason for having a policy taken out (perhaps they still had joint business interests of some kind), just that it's quite out of the ordinary. Bottom line, the insurer will make the call has to whether or not to pay out on such a claim.


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