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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33802
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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Is there a way to find out if someone had life insurance on

Customer Question

Good Morning, is there a way to find out if someone had life insurance on a relative and how much?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I live in Boston MA
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I'm not sure. My Grand Aunt just passed a couple of weeks ago and we had property in SC under her mothers name that was never transferred to her as the last living heir. Family members have been acting strange, I did some research and the property was transferred over without them telling any other family member. At the funeral home while preparing for the service she asked for 5 death certificates.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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If there was an insurance policy, then it would be paid directly to the named beneficiary and is not considered to be part of the deceased's estate. Since these are private and confidential contractual relations, there is no public record of who has a policy on whom and who might be the beneficiary.

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If aunt had a policy on her own life and didn't name a beneficiary, then that money would go into her estate to descend according to her will or to her intestate heirs at law as determined by statute.

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But if someone has filed a probate case to settle her estate, that is entirely a public proceeding and anyone can contact the local probate court where it was filed and get a copy of the entire file, including any will, inventory, and anything else that has been filed.

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As for the 5 death certificates, that is typical, if even a little on the low side because if there were few assets, the executor may send in copied to creditors to try to negotiate down debts or get them forgiven.. Typically I tell clients to get 8-10 copies just so they have extras as necessary.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What if a number family members has life insurance on her for them to be beneficiary? There was a trust at the funeral home and she was legally blind and had dementia for the pass 8 years. She was not fit to make the probate decision.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

That is a private contract between the policy owner (i.e. family member) and the insurer. Aunt as the insured would have to have agreed to allow them to take the policy out on her life, but the policy would then be between the owner of the policy and the insurance company.

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So insurance policies don't normally go into probate at all. They go directly to the beneficiary.

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thanks

Barrister

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