How can I claim insurance benefits on someone who has died without a letter of administration?

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How can I claim insurance benefits on someone who has died without a letter of administration?

My mother passed without a Will. She left no bills. I am trying to claim for her insurance benefit? Is a form I could get without aletter of administration? Could I get a legal form specifically this and have it notarized? Would this acceptable?

Asked on June 21, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, contact the insurance company and see if you are listed as a beneficiary. If you are listed as a beneficiary, it passes outside of probate and you do not need a letter of administration, merely your identification and a death certificate. If you are not listed as a beneficiary and someone else is, the proceeds are not yours. If you are not listed as a beneficiary and no one else is, then contact the insurance company and find out what you need to do. Second, contact your state insurance department and find out if it has brochures or could point you to state laws covering insurance benefits and qualifications or conditions to collect. Third, if your mother passed intestate with absolutely no bills, she may still have other assets you would need to probate, like real property, cars, bank accounts, personal property and the like. If any of these require a title change and you are not listed as a joint owner with rights of survivorship or as a beneficiary, you would probably need to probate if you are looking at obtaining any titles without problem. Contact your probate court and see what the minimum is to have to probate property. You might not have to probate if the assets are below a certain amount.


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