Payments of Insurance Policy of the Deceased

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Payments of Insurance Policy of the Deceased

My aunt passed away and I recently found an insurance policy. Her son is named the beneficiary. In her Will it states that she did not want him to benefit from any assets. I am her executrix and POA. Do I have a claim to persue this? The son abandoned her and I was left to care for her. She didn’t want him to have any money. Can I bring a suit against them since they want to send him the money? She turned everything over to me when he left her, didn’t pay her bill which he was supposed to online, and was draining her bank account. I want to persue this and file a suit to get this money.

Asked on December 9, 2016 under Insurance Law, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If he is the named beneficiary, the life insurance proceeds have nothing to do with the estate and vice versa: the proceeds go directly to him as beneficiary, under the terms of the policy, which is a contract between your aunt and the insurer--because it is a contract, the insurer *must* send the proceeds to him, because that is what they contractually agreed to do. 
The will does not have any effect on the policy or the benefits going to her son, because those benefits are not *her* asset or an asset of her estate--again, they go directly to him.
If you aunt had not wanted him to get the proceeds, she could and should have changed the  beneficiary on the policy: that is the *only* way to have stopped him from getting the life insurance benefits.

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