If my mother passed away without leaving me anything, am I entitled to the life insurance proceedsor her possessions?

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If my mother passed away without leaving me anything, am I entitled to the life insurance proceedsor her possessions?

She was married; she had no Will.

Asked on June 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your mother died without a Will the she died "intestate". Accordingly the intestacy laws of the state in which she was domiciledat her death will control. Typically in such a case the distribution is 1/3 to the surviving spouse; and 2/3 to the children (again this varies from state-to-state).

As to life insurance proceeds things are different. Such proceeds are not part of the deceased estate; they do not pass through probate. Insurance proceeds pass directly to the named beneficiary, and there is no legal requirement that a parent name a child as a beneficiary.

At this point you should consult directly with a probate attorney in the area.

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your mother died without a Will the she died "intestate". Accordingly the intestacy laws of the state in which she was domiciledat her death will control. Typically in such a case the distribution is 1/3 to the surviving spouse; and 2/3 to the children (again this varies from state-to-state).

As to life insurance proceeds things are different. Such proceeds are not part of the deceased estate; they do not pass through probate. Insurance proceeds pass directly to the named beneficiary, and there is no legal requirement that a parent name a child as a beneficiary.

At this point you should consult directly with a probate attorney in the area.


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