How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Thomas McJD Your Own Question

Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6510
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Thomas McJD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My mother passed away in December and there was a life insurance

Resolved Question:

My mother passed away in December and there was a life insurance policy paid to her from her husband three days before she passed. The insurance company has now contacted me for estate information. They are telling me that the check is payable to me since I am her beneficiary. My questions is this. My mother had no property, only debt. She passed due to complication of liver disease from years of drug and alcohol abuse. I do not want to open any issues where I may be responsible for her debt. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

TMcJD :

In no event are you responsible for your mother's debt unless you cosigned or guaranteed the debt. Since the money was paid to her while she was alive and she then passed away, the money would typically be part of her estate. In that event, you would need to open a probate and allow creditors the opportunity to make valid claims to the money and be paid. After payment of valid claims, if any were made, then you could distribute the funds to the beneficiary or beneficiaries of her estate. However, in some cases, a person must survive a set number of days before being entitled to funds. It may be that the insurance company is now treating her as already deceased so they can pay the funds directly to the next beneficiary under the insurance policy. You would need to discuss this with the insurance company to determine whether they can pay it to you as beneficiary due to a clause in the policy that required her survival after your father for a set number of days. If there is no such provision, then you need to ask them their basis for paying the check to you versus to her estate (in the latter case you would proceed as discussed above -- and that would be typical; if you take the money and it should have gone to her estate, then the creditors could later make claims against you for not properly administering her estate before taking the funds; that it is why it's so important to discover the insurance company's basis for saying they can now write the check to you). If you came into my office, I would tell you the exact same thing and offer to call the company for you to determine more information. Unfortunately, I cannot provide that type of service to you, so you'll have to make those calls yourself.

TMcJD :

Please let me know if I can provide clarification or additional information. Thanks.

Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6510
Experience: Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
Thomas McJD and other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • My husband has been driving me insane with questions regarding estate issues since his mother died. I'm not a lawyer! Thanks to JustAnswer, I was able to calm his concerns. Loretta T Illinois
< Last | Next >
  • My husband has been driving me insane with questions regarding estate issues since his mother died. I'm not a lawyer! Thanks to JustAnswer, I was able to calm his concerns. Loretta T Illinois
  • Thanks Adam!! - A very direct and understandable response - you have been a great help! Happy Customer Ellicott City, MD
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Thomas McJD

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3076
    Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MC/mclemorelawyer/2011-9-21_193631_IMGP8718Version2.64x64.jpg Thomas McJD's Avatar

    Thomas McJD

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3076
    Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3781
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2188
    13 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/rayanswers/2012-6-7_23346_Untitled1.64x64.jpg RayAnswers's Avatar

    RayAnswers

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1484
    Texas lawyer for 29 years in Estate law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1226
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    770
    12+ yrs. of experience including estate law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    754
    Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.