Is the insurance company saying you need to open an estate to collect the life insurance proceeds? Don’t fret, we can help you through the probate process, but before opening an estate make sure that the estate is the rightful beneficiary. We have seen numerous cases where the life insurance company tells the beneficiary that he or she must open an estate when in fact it is not necessary to do so. If you don’t have to go through the costs and expenses of opening a probate estate, then avoid it! If you determine that the estate of the decedent is the proper beneficiary of the life insurance benefits then you will have to go through the probate division. You should consult an attorney before proceeding, but generally speaking the process to go through the probate division will depend on the value of the insurance proceeds, the time elapsed since the date of death and whether there was a Will or any other form of estate plan. While this varies slightly depending on the circumstances we will briefly go through the different probate processes. Decedent died within last year: For estates under $40,000.00 you will need to file a Small Estate Affidavit or Letters of Refusal. For estates over $40,000.00 you will need to petition the Court for letters. Decedent died over a year ago: For estates under $40,000.00 you will need to file a Small Estate Affidavit or Letters of Refusal. For estates over $40,000.00 you will need to file a Petition for Determination of Heirship. Usually, these forms can be found on the websites for the county in which you reside. For example, St. Louis County provides forms for most of these processes, but they will strongly encourage and some times require you to hire an attorney to navigate through the probate process. If you have been denied your life insurance or if the life insurance company is telling you that the rightful beneficiary of the life insurance benefits is the estate, call our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.
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 have been denied your insurance claim. 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.