Cornelia, GA asked in Probate for Georgia

Q: Life insurance on daughter who suddenly passed away. What "estate" paperwork does ins co need me to file?

Her deceased grandfather (my father) had taken out the $100,000 policy. She had less than $1000 to her name. My ex-wife had to file a small estate (?) because the hospital was billing her. My daughter was 31 years old and passed away last December.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: Usually a life insurance policy has a designated death beneficiary, and all the beneficiary has to do is provide the life insurance company with a death certificate and the beneficiary's own contact information and identification.

If the primary beneficiary was not living when the insured passed, then the proceeds to to the secondary beneficiary. If there was no secondary beneficiary, then the life insurance proceeds become an asset of the primary beneficiary's estate. If a probate was already opened for the primary beneficiary, then the probate might need to be reopened in order to claim the life insurance for the beneficiaries of the decedent's will or else the decedent's intestate heirs. If there was no prior probate, then a probate can be opened now to transfer the life insurance proceeds and any other assets in the decedent's estate.

A probate attorney can help you with this.

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