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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Mar 7, 2013.

Question

My father pass away 9 mths ago and he had a insurance policy which me and my mother received the money but my two bothers and sister dont want money. Can that money be divided between me and my mom

Answer

Hi, thank you for the question. The answer may depend on how the beneficiaries were established on the life insurance contract and your brother''s and sister''s situation. If your brothers or sister have children and the beneficiary designation is set to "per stirpes", then the proceeds may flow to their children. If there is no such designation, then the funds may be distributed pro rata to you and your mother. Meaning, this may be done automatically if your siblings deny the funds. You should check with the life insurance company, preferably the agent who handled the policy for your father and determine the best plan of action. The bottom line though is that if your siblings don''t want the proceeds there is a way for the funds to go to you and your mother. They will not be lost. At the very least, your siblings could take the funds and then gift them to you and your mother (be aware of gift tax rules if this is the course you take).

I hope this helps.


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