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.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
Answered
  • 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

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