Pulaski, VA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia

Q: What happens when a life insurance policy says to the estatee? Does it spilt between all children

My mother died and had three life insurance policy’s. I was the sole beneficiary for all but one. The last one states it goes to the estatee, nobody was named. Who will that policy go to? Will it split between all children or will we have to go to court for one person to get it?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: A life insurance policy payable to the estate should be deposited in the estate account. The personal representative of the estate should have opened an estate bank account and obtained a taxpayer identification number for the estate. The personal representative must qualify through an appointment with the probate clerk of the appropriate Virginia Circuit Court for the city or county where the decedent resided prior to his or her death. Inventories and accountings are filed with the Commissioner of Accounts for that city or county. The insurance money should not be immediately divided among the heirs or beneficiaries, as debts and claims of the estate must be paid first, in the priority set out in the Code of Virginia, which can differ depending on whether the estate is solvent or insolvent. A debts and demands procedure may be requested, to ensure all proper claims have been satisfied and to protect the personal representative from potential liability.

Anyone with an interest in a decedent's estate in Virginia should consult with an experienced Virginia probate lawyer.

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