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legal guardian needs to change life insurance beneficiary

Discussion in 'Life Insurance, Annuities & Other' started by mimi47, Oct 31, 2013.

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  1. mimi47

    mimi47 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My 54 year old brother has Downs syndrome and Dementia. He is an incapacitated person and in a skilled nursing facility. Our parents are both deceased and I have been his Legal Guardian for the past 11 years. My brother is in failing health. I made inquiries in to his Life Insurance policies and was told that the beneficiaries are my deceased father and mother. I am trying to get that changed in order to use the money for his burial when needed. The Life Insurance company told me that the proof of my guardianship from the court would not permit me to change beneficiaries. They say I need a Court Order showing that I am authorized to make the beneficiary change.

    What is my course of action? Do I seek an attorney to do this for me? Would you have any idea of the cost? The total monies to be paid from the life insurance policies on my brother are $2,000. What would happen if I did not get a court order to change the beneficiaries? Who would receive the money? My brother does not have a Will or any one designated to handle his Estate. He has no income and is totally supported by Medicaid.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    If the beneficiaries are deceased, the payout should default to his estate.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I'd contact the insurance company and see what they suggest.

    Its a minimal policy at best, and will only assist in defraying his burial expenses.

    I have seen people work with insurers to make sure the benefits are paid to a funeral home upon the demise of the love done.

    See if you can get the insurer to work with you and avoid spending even $100 to change anything.
     
  4. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    The owner(s) of a life ins. policy are the person(s) who can change the beneficiary/beneficiaries (if they (owner/owners) are living & competent). Sometimes they might be the insured or the bene(s). If the owner(s) are not living or not competent (or don't want to change the bene(s))& the bene(s) predecease the insured, the policy proceeds will be made payable to the insured's estate at death of the insured. I was a life ins. underwriter & this was in our policy provisions. There might be a few companies which have in their policy provisions, that if the bene(s) predecease the insured, the proceeds will be paid to the bene(s) estate(s). However, only the owner can change a bene (the owner would normally be the insured or bene in most cases) mimi47, if you are not the owner, you cannot change the bene(s) without a court order. You can talk to the ins. co. & see if (for the small amt. payable) if they "might" work with you - it's possible though they will stick with wanting a court order.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
    army judge likes this.
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Good ideas Betty, but in this case the insured is incapacitated, and I understand the OP to be his legal guardian.
    As you indicated, each insurer has unique policies, and often those policies can be adapted in specific situations.
    Unlike most think, I've found insurance companies and banks to be caring, concerned organizations.
    They tend to be conservative with their actions and investments, nothing wrong with that.
    But, they also can exhibit big hearts and offer compassion and assistance, if approached correctly.
    In most cases, she (the OP) is his voice, and has the ability to act in his best interests, including (but not limited to) handling his medical and financial decisions.
    That said, many people misunderstand POA, legal guardian, etc...
    Our son was in a coma for 11 years until his death recently.
    My wife was appointed his conservator, in essence, Texas' version of a legal guardian of an incapacitate adult.
    She was able to use her court appointed position to do the very things OP desires.
    In some cases, I had to submit a motion (or work with colleagues and associates to do so), in order to care for all of his personal affairs.
    These can be complex matters, but I've found that most entities, once apprised of the legalities involved (both within and outside of our beloved Republic of Texas) were most accommodating in allowing her to perform her court ordered fiduciary and personal care duties.

    I certainly wish OP the best.
    Hers is a very difficult position, having seen what it did to my wife, I feel; noting but a willingness to help where I can.
    I am not promising anything specific OP, but I'll certainly entertain any requests you might have.
    I'd love to see you retain whatever value you can in that insurance policy to ensure that it properly assist you in attending to your brother's expenses upon his ultimate passing.
    Heck, I'd even be willing to kick in a few quid to assist you, if and when that untimely event occurs.
    God bless.
     
  6. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    Oh my gosh, army judge, I'm so very sorry about your son. That is so sad.
     

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