What to do if my dad recently passed away and the beneficiary to his life insurance policy was his wife who is also now deceased?

UPDATED: Sep 19, 2012

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What to do if my dad recently passed away and the beneficiary to his life insurance policy was his wife who is also now deceased?

He did not name a contingent on the policy. We found out that he had a Will and the wife was the primary executor and my half sister who is her daughter is the secondary executor. His only asset is the life insurance policy in which is needed for his burial/final expenses. Is it possible for my younger half sister to sign over the life insurance policy to the funeral home without having to proceed with the probate courts so that he can recieve a proper burial? Is this possible since there is a Will naming her the executor?

Asked on September 19, 2012 under Estate Planning, Ohio


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If there is a Will of your late father then most likely it will have to be submitted to probate. I suggest sooner rather than later. If the life insurance policy is the only asset of your father's estate where the sole beneficiary was his late wife who predeceased him then in order to get the insurance proceeds you need a probate order distributing such to your father's beneficiaries under his Will.

I suggest you consult with a Wills and trust attorney as soon as possible in that nothing can be done about the life insurance policy that you have written about until there is a court order authorizing its distribution.

It seems that some family member will have to advance your father's burial expenses and then get reimbursed by his estate.


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