How to collect on a life insurance policy after probate?

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How to collect on a life insurance policy after probate?

My father passed away 9 years ago leaving a life insurance policy behind that no one in the family was ware of. My oldest brother was made the executor of the Will but he too recenty passed away still not aware of the insurance policy. The insurance company contacted another sibling of mine. Long story short, in order to have the proceeds of this policy to be paid out I need to go to probate court. Do I need an attorney for this? What is the average cost for an attorney to handle this should I need one?

Asked on August 3, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

Mark Siegel / Law Office of Mark A. Siegel

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The life insurance policy is a contract between the insurance co. & the insured (your father). There is a beneficiary form that is completed & signed by the insured at the time the policy is purchased. Upon presentation of proof of the insured's death, (usually in the form of a certified copy of the death certificate), the insurance co. is obligated to pay the insurance proceeds to the named beneficiary. No probate is involved if the insurance proceeds are the only monies left by your father, since it is an insurance contract & passes outside the will.

You did not indicate whether you have information indicating who is the named beneficiary on the policy. If you are, you should obtain the insurance co's contact info from your sibling & consult with a lawyer, who can then correspond with the insurance co. on your behalf. Good luck! 

Mark Siegel / Law Office of Mark A. Siegel

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The life insurance policy is a contract between the insurance co. & the insured (your father). There is a beneficiary form that is completed & signed by the insured at the time the policy is purchased. Upon presentation of proof of the insured's death, (usually in the form of a certified copy of the death certificate), the insurance co. is obligated to pay the insurance proceeds to the named beneficiary. No probate is involved if the insurance proceeds are the only monies left by your father, since it is an insurance contract & passes outside the will.

You did not indicate whether you have information indicating who is the named beneficiary on the policy. If you are, you should obtain the insurance co's contact info from your sibling & consult with a lawyer, who can then correspond with the insurance co. on your behalf. Good luck! 


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