Q: Wills and life insurance
Mom and stepdad have 2 kids from previous marriage. Each has a will saying that if one passes, the surviving spouse keeps everything. Stepdad passes in 2018. Mom passes in 2020 and her life insurance lists her deceased husband as beneficiary. Who now has claim to the life insurance?
A: It depends on exactly what the life insurance policy says and whether there are any contingent beneficiaries listed. If the policy lists lists the husband as primary but somebody else as secondary (or contingent), then the secondary benefit claims the life insurance. If the policy does not list a secondary beneficiary, then most likely the life insurance proceeds are now an assets of the husband's probate estate. However, sometimes a policy provides that if there are no living beneficiaries, then the estate of the owner receives the proceeds, so you need to explore this with the life insurance company. I would start by sending them a letter than identifies the policy and encloses both death certificates.
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