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AttyHeather, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 512
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
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My dad has life insurance and I'm wanting to know if s

Customer Question

My dad has life insurance and I'm wanting to know if his beneficiaries are permanent or if things can be changed last minute. He was always my business partner, and over the last few years we got into a few legal problems that are almost finished with, neither of has had jail time or restitution. My court dates will be completed in about 6 months but in the mean time Im stressed out because he put everything (meaning his 400K life insurance in my drug addict) brothers name. I dont trust him at all. I'm just stressed and even hate to mean to bring any of this up but if my dad dies I want my fair share. I've helped him over the last 10 years and everyone else did jack sht, including my siblings and my mom. I just feel like I"m possibly about to be cut out. The reason he temporarily put it in my brothers name was because his name was "clean" and I was going through court. In the meantime, 3 out of 4 of my parents children are on and off METH. Ive never done drugs, I'm the clean one and have only helped, I just happen to be in a temporary legal battle.My main question, is, is there anything I can do to PERMANENTLY receive my share of the money? Or is just kind of all flexible where he can change things around until he dies.... thanks.....
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 5 months ago.

Hi, I'm Heather, an attorney with 15 years experience and I'd like to assist you with your question for informational purposes. What a difficult situation for you. I'm so sorry to hear about this.

Normally life insurance policies can be changed and modified by the insured. This means, that your dad is free to change the beneficiary as he sees fit. This is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it would not do you any good for me to give you anything less than an honest answer.

Sometimes, however, people can establish trusts that are irrevocable. There are strict requirements for irrevocable trusts, and the fact that they are irrevocable must be specifically stated. I'm sure that if your father's concern is, as you say, to keep the life insurance money from potential creditors, since you are being sued, then he should have no problem setting up an irrevocable spend thrift trust, which is a trust that creditors cannot trust. Spend thrift trusts are normally set up when the beneficiary is someone who wastes their money, and the trust prevents or minimizes waste, but they can also be set up when there is a danger of creditors who might attempt to take property away from the beneficiary (which sounds like the case in your situation, since you are being sued and may have to pay some type of restitution). See for more information on spend thrift trusts. I hope this has helped and given you some ideas. Best of luck.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi thanks for your response. It sounds incredibly complex in terms of what I'm working with. Basically I have hardly any many so that is a HUGE factor. Obviously my dad is still alive but I trust NO ONE in my family. My mom is a RAGING alcoholic and cant be trusted at all. She's basically been taken care of by my dad since they got married at 18, 35+ years ago. All 3 siblings of mine are on and off drugs. Im newly single because my sister actually had sex with my long term boyfriend (I have no kids and have never been married). Due to these legal problems which will be over in about a year (because it takes so long to get through the court system) everything is in my little brothers name. He's currently in rehab but just relapsed a few days ago and I just dont trust ANY of my family for anything. Its so sad because my dad and I had a great business bond, but since our last business stopped, we've just been great friends and no business (which we did for 10 years). My siblings and mother get ANGRY when I mention ANYTHING related to his life insurance because they think Im all about the money but in fact I just want what has been promised to be. In fact I was the one who verbally discussed how it would be split, I said well how about half to mom and the other half the kids can split and everyone agreed. But these days everyone is fighting and I just dont trust anyone. Is there a simple way out for a poor man? Thanks, Elaine
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 5 months ago.

The simple way is for your dad to just put your name on the life insurance policy. If he is afraid to do that, but he wants you to get the money, or at least part of it, he is going to have to set up a trust, or - - - - you are stuck putting your "trust" in what he has set up. (Sorry for the pun - I couldn't help myself.) I know it's a really tough spot for you.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
ok thanks. and if I end up paying any restitution to the courts/etc........ it would come out of the money that I'm given right. Which would be 50K out of his life insurance.
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 4 months ago.

Yes, have I answered your question?

Expert:  AttyHeather replied 4 months ago.

Have I answered your question?

Thanks, Heather

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