What are the ways a life insurance policy that has already been paid out bypass probate?

UPDATED: Mar 7, 2013

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What are the ways a life insurance policy that has already been paid out bypass probate?

My father passed 2 years ago and the insurance company paid me. My stepsister filed a petition for excutor of his estate and states the following: I am not my fathers daughter and that her decreased mother was beneficiary. I am unable to prove that I am my fathers daughter because his name does not appear on my birth certificate.

Asked on March 7, 2013 under Estate Planning, Michigan


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I do not understand your question or problem.  Insurance proceeds are distributed according to contract, not according to estate laws.  If you were named the beneficiary on the insurance policy, the money is yours.  Your father could have named his neighbor as beneficiary and the neighbor would get the money.  You don't have to prove you are his daughter to receive life insurance proceeds.

It may be true that you cannot inherit your father's estate without proving you are his daughter.  However, life insurance proceeds are not part of the estate. 

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