What should I do if I want to get guardianship of my daughter regarding life insurance money that was left to her?

UPDATED: Aug 28, 2014

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What should I do if I want to get guardianship of my daughter regarding life insurance money that was left to her?

My ex-husband was in the Army and passed away. He left his life insurance to my daughter, who is 4. But he also put his sister as the guardian of the money. They want me to sign legal documents agreeing to this, and I don’t agree with someone else deciding my daughter’s financal future. As her natural parent, what do I need to do to try and retain guardianship of the life insurance and is it likely it will be given to me?

Asked on August 28, 2014 under Estate Planning, Arkansas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your daughter's loss.  I can surely understand how you would wish to be in control of your daughter's finances.  Did he leave the money in a trust for her and leave your sister in law as trustee?  It may prove to be a very difficult task to remove her unless you can prove that she is in some way unfit to handle things or "breaching" her fiduciary duty.  You can go in to court and be appointed as her legal guardian (yes, even though you are her natural guardian) and it may be a good idea because you are the only natural parent left.  And I would speak with a lawyer about the legal tools that were used by your ex and if they can be in any way modified.  Good luck.

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