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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jul 26, 2012.

Question

hello,my father deceased a month ago and im claiming his life insurance 35,000.I''m his first daughter and i took care of all his expenses,im worried because my father had more children with different ladies.I have no idea where they are. Can this affect my claim? i''m worried since insurance are strict with their policy.Thank You

Answer

Thank you for the question.  Life Insurance is a contract between an individual and a company.  The individual, your father in this case, should have named a beneficiary to the life insurance contract.  When the death benefit is paid, it goes directly to the named beneficiary on the policy (rather than passing through probate).  If you were the only beneficiary on the policy, the proceeds will go to you, and there really isn't anything for your siblings to claim.  

If no beneficiary is named, the proceeds will most likely go to your father's estate and will be probated by his Last Will and Testament.  Every state is different in this regard, so you will need to talk with someone directly in your area if this is the case.  If your father did not have a Will, then the laws of your jurisdiction will take over.  Typically proceeds of an estate are split among the closest decedents, but the rules are state specific.  You may want to consult with an attorney if this is the case.  

I hope this helps.  Please go to www.feedthepig.org for other relevant financial information.

Best regards,

Cory S. Colquette MBA, CPA/PFS 


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