Commerce Township, MI asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Michigan

Q: How can I change the beneficiary on mom's life insurance? I am her POA and sole caregiver living with me since 1996.

Years ago mom added my sister as a joint account holder on all her bank accounts as well as the beneficiary to a small life insurance policy. She also had a much larger policy that when mom became disabled my sister did not properly handle causing it to start issuing lifetime annuity checks, at age 96 this was bad causing many thousands to be lost...i was not aware of it til after my POA was effective. Most recently my sister closed out two CDs withdrawing the funds. I am very concerned when the time comes my sister will not assign the policy to the funeral home for which this policy is intended for. Are there any options , mom has been living with me going on 4 years now and it is becoming a financial nitemare.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Howell, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Assuming the PoA allows you to deal with insurances, you can use that to modify beneficiaries, however be careful as many do not allow 'self dealing' meaning that if you try to assign the property to yourself you could run afoul of ethics rules.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE seek the advice of a local licensed attorney to review the terms of your documents and don't do ANYTHING until you've got that advice. It may cost a few dollars up front but it is well worth it when it avoids issues in litigation later on that will cost multiple dollars more to unravel.

DO NOT try to DIY this -- seek out a local attorney!

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

Nina Whitehurst agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.