Wellington, OH asked in Estate Planning for Ohio

Q: Ownership of life insurance on another person if the owner dies?

My mother had a whole life insurance policy on my step father and my mother passed away can another person besides the insured change ownership of the policy that is not related to her? Before my mother passed away I was named as her executor.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: The insured cannot change the ownership of the policy; only the owner can do that. But the owner has died, so now this is an asset that needs to be probated. The life insurance policy that your mother owned on the life of another is now an asset of her estate and needs to be distributed according to the terms of her will. Some small estates can be probated using simplified procedures, but there is no way to know whether this is a small estate without details regarding all of the assets and their values. You should hire a probate attorney to help you with this.

C. Lawrence Huddleston III agrees with this answer

C. Lawrence Huddleston III
C. Lawrence Huddleston III
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: You are the Executor and are responsible to present her will to probate. As a part of that process, you will need to list all her assets. The insurance policy is an asset, and it will be handled in probate like every other asset. Make sure you retain the services of an expert probate attorney to help you with this process. You will not need to pay anything up front, as probate attorneys get paid from estate assets at the end of the probate process upon approval by the court of the fee, which is likely 2% or less of the probate assets.

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