Q: I was the beneficiary to my sisters life insurance. My siblings want it included in the estate. It happened in nj
Family believes the life insurance should be part of the estate even thought it was left in my name snd not theirs.
A: As a general rule, life insurance proceeds payable to a named beneficiary are NOT included in the decedent's probate estate. The law presumes that the decedent meant what she said when she named you as the sole life insurance beneficiary. It is a very tough presumption to overcome. Your siblings would have to produce really strong evidence that a different result was intended, and the litigation itself will be costly. Your siblings will have the burden of proof, not you. Unless they have a really good "smoking gun" in their pockets, you should rest easy that the life insurance proceeds are yours and yours alone.
Derek John Soltis agrees with this answer
A: Just because your family wants something doesn't mean it has to be done. As explained by Ms. Whitehurst, insurance proceeds are normally not subject to probate. My firm would never agree to represent your siblings unless they had proof you did something that you shouldn't have. She put your name on the policy not everyone else. If she wanted to name 6 people as beneficiaries she could have, naming one is also her right.
A: Don't let your family force you to do this you are well within your rights to collect this money and not share it. In general they would need to prove fraud or coercion to get this money into the estate. If they try get a good lawyer to represent you.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.