Cumming, GA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia

Q: My divorced brother passed away and the beneficiaries for his life insurance were his minor children (in GA).....

I understand the court typically assigns the remaining parent as the custodian/manager of the children's life insurance policy. What if you would like to contest this b/c we are extremely concerned that the parent will spend the money left for the children's college and/or future needs (based on previous issues with managing money)? Is there a way to get this money managed by a trust or company so it is managed properly, and the children receive this benefit at 18 years of age versus the mother of the children spending it? It was not a "nice" divorce.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Ellaretha Coleman
Ellaretha Coleman
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Typically in divorce cases, the final divorce decree requires the parties to maintain life insurance policies for the benefit of the minor children if one parent dies while the children are still minors. This is so that the children can still be financially provided for while they are minors. If that is the case, there is not a way to now alter the beneficiary designation, unless the ex-spouse contributed to his death.

Jammie Taire
Jammie Taire
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Attorney Coleman is absolutely correct; however, there are instances where the divorce decree did not make provisions for a life insurance policy, what then? Many insurance companies require that the parent/guardian be named as the conservator over the child for purposes of the life insurance policy. This will require the parent/guardian filing a petition in probate court and may also require that the parent/guardian post a bond. If you have reasons the court deems legitimate for your objection, the court may appoint an alternate including a county administrator.

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