my stepmothers benficiary on a life insurance policy was my dad, but my dad is deceased-who gets the life insurance policy-it is in North Carolina

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my stepmothers benficiary on a life insurance policy was my dad, but my dad is deceased-who gets the life insurance policy-it is in North Carolina

Asked on May 17, 2009 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I assume that no contingent benefiary was named.  You should check, if you have not already done so.  Because once the primary beneficiary dies, then the contingent beneficiary (if there is one) would be entitled to the insurance proceeds.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This may depend on where your stepmother was living when she passed away.  It isn't where the insurance policy was taken out.  Since her named beneficiary passed away first, the money goes into her estate, just like a bank account.

If she had a will, then the will determines who gets the money.  Otherwise, the law of the state where your stepmother last called home decides who gets her estate, including the insurance money, and in what shares.

You need to know whether she left a will and, if so, what it says, or who her living relatives are.  In either case, a lawyer in her last home state would be able to take that information and give you specific answers.  One place to find an attorney who can unravel this for you would be our website, http://attorneypages.com


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