Estate as Beneficiary
Is the Insurance Company Claiming the Estate is the Proper Beneficiary?
Is the life insurance company or retirement plan benefits administrator telling you that the estate is the proper beneficiary? Are they asking you to show them Letters of Administration, Letters Testamentary, a Small Estate Affidavit or other necessary probate court documentation? If so, our attorneys can help. Our experienced lawyers have brought numerous estates through the probate process throughout the state of Missouri.
How am I appointed the Personal Representative or the Executor of the Estate?
If the estate of the decedent is the proper beneficiary under the life insurance policy or the retirement benefits plan then someone has to open a probate estate to claim the benefits. The value of the estate and the time since the date of death will determine what type of probate process you must go through to claim the life insurance or retirement benefits. To be appointed the personal representative of the estate (commonly known as the executor) you must petition the probate court. Preference is given to individuals with close a close familial relationship with the decedent. If you are the ex-spouse you may still be appointed as the personal representative, but you will have a harder time obtaining court approval.
There are numerous ways to go through probate court and the fees and time required for the different processes vary greatly. If you have to go through the probate court to obtain the benefits under a life insurance policy or retirement benefits it is important to contact an attorney that knows the most efficient way through the probate process.
Am I the beneficiary of the Estate?
Generally speaking, you first must determine if a valid Will has been filed and look to see the listed beneficiaries under such Will. If the decedent had no Will then any life insurance benefits or retirement benefits are distributed according to Missouri Revised Statue 474.010.
Can I still collect proceeds of the life insurance policy if I am not the beneficiary?
Yes, but it will depend on a lot of factors. Our experienced attorneys have been able to recover life insurance benefits for individuals who were not beneficiaries of the estate. For example, in certain cases we were able to recover on behalf of the ex-spouse even though they were not a beneficiary of the life insurance policy under Missouri law. Our experience and knowledge of both life insurance law and the probate court rules give us an advantage when collecting on life insurance policies. It is important to get an experienced attorney involved early in the process to preserve any rights you might have to the life insurance benefits or retirement benefits.
Hire an Experienced Probate Attorney
Our results speak for themselves. Our experienced insurance claim denial attorneys have never lost a case. At Joseph & Eugene, LLC our lawyers handle cases throughout Missouri and Illinois. Don’t delay if you must go through probate court to collect life insurance proceeds or retirement benefits. Contact our knowledgeable lawyers today at (314) 881-8338 or send us an Insurance Denial question. We look forward to hearing from you. All communications are returned promptly.
Joseph & Eugene, LLC
222 South Central Avenue, STE 1003
St. Louis, MO 63105
Get help opening a probate estate to collect life insurance or retirement benefits. Call an experienced probate lawyer today.