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El Diablo

Estate Question - Insurance Policies

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Mom passed away a couple weeks ago and there are a couple of insurance policies with no defined beneficiary. Not sure how that works but I think they were dad's and they rolled over to her when he died? Anyway, thought I'd ask here if anyone knew how these need to be handled. Mom's wish was for all assets to be divided equally among my 4 siblings and myself. Policies involved have a total value of maybe $35K. 

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Have you looked at the policies themselves? There has to be a beneficiary- that may be listed as “My Estate” or similar, but one has to be listed.

You mention they were your dad’s and “ rolled over”.  Might they be annuities or might they be the proceeds from your dad’s life insurance that your mom put into an annuity?

They’d look like an insurance contract and may even have “policy” or “contract” In the title.

But, just like a life insurance policy there will be a stated beneficiary on an annuity contract- maybe just her estate but something or someone will be listed.

If you can’t locate that, the executor will need to contact the company and determine who is listed and proceed as such.  In the event her estate is listed, the proceeds go into the pot and the executor will distribute based on the will, etc. 

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Just came back to add an edit and see that what I was going to add has been addressed. I *think* that they list estate as beneficiary. Does the executor (sister, no pics) need to create an estate then? 

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1 minute ago, El Diablo said:

Just came back to add an edit and see that what I was going to add has been addressed. I *think* that they list estate as beneficiary. Does the executor (sister, no pics) need to create an estate then? 

An estate exists "automatically" upon death.  But, for practical purposes, a probate will need to be commenced and the person designated in the will as the executor or administrator will be the person that does that.  When the probate has commenced, the administrator will receive letters testamentary that give her the powers of the administrator, which is basically to act as the decedent to carry out the terms of the will, or, if no will, distribute to heir under intestate succession.

The administrator, letters testamentary in hand, then approaches the insurance company, who will issue a check for the proceeds of the policies to "Estate of El Madre del Diablo."  The administrator will need to open a bank account in this name to deposit the funds.  The administrator can then cut checks to the heirs.

If it was life insurance, then perhaps your mother didn't claim the proceeds, but it wouldn't "roll over."  If it was some kind of "insurance product," like an annuity, then it could have gone to her as beneficiary but never been cashed out or had a beneficiary designated by her.   If the former, I think the administrator is going to have to prove El Padre's death, also, probably death certificate will suffice.

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Edit: I know my parents, I'm going to guess that there's nothing in writing stating that sis it to be the executor (no will), it was just something conveyed to us verbally. How do we, the kids, establish who is to be the administrator without written instructions from the deceased? 

Edit2: Surprise boogaloo - Sis has copy of will, rest of the estate is fairly straight forward. Gracias, Twice!

Edited by El Diablo

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3 hours ago, El Diablo said:

Edit: I know my parents, I'm going to guess that there's nothing in writing stating that sis it to be the executor (no will), it was just something conveyed to us verbally. How do we, the kids, establish who is to be the administrator without written instructions from the deceased? 

Edit2: Surprise boogaloo - Sis has copy of will, rest of the estate is fairly straight forward. Gracias, Twice!

That's good.  Commencing a probate without a will can be a bit of a hassle and costs more in attorneys fees.

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12 hours ago, El Diablo said:

Edit: I know my parents, I'm going to guess that there's nothing in writing stating that sis it to be the executor (no will), it was just something conveyed to us verbally. How do we, the kids, establish who is to be the administrator without written instructions from the deceased? 

Edit2: Surprise boogaloo - Sis has copy of will, rest of the estate is fairly straight forward. Gracias, Twice!

Great news and kudos to Mom.  That's a symbol of her love and respect for the Diablo clan that she took care of her shit.

That should make things much easier.

PSA - For anyone who doesn't have their financial affairs in order or has parents and you aren't sure if they do - have some conversations with your parents or your kids.

No one likes to talk about death and no parent wants financial advice from a kid who's ass they wiped as a baby - But.....it makes things so much easier after the fact. 

Find their hot button and push it. 

Maybe they are adamant that they want their death to be treated like a celebration.....Then turn that discussion into saying we want to be able to celebrate your life, not scramble and fight to figure out your estate.  Maybe they hate lawyers or the gubment - then tell them you want to make sure their finances are in order so the family doesn't have to pay it all to attorneys and courts to sort it out. 

Whatever it takes - get it clear, on paper, and where someone can find it.

And for goodness sakes, everyone needs to go back and check life insurance, retirement plan, IRA, and annuity beneficiary designations periodically - especially if you have had a divorce, death, birth, or change in the family structure.  Those things are difficult and sometimes impossible to unwind after death - any the process of even trying is costly to the estate.

@El Diablo  I'm sorry for your loss, but am happy for you that this potential burden has been lifted and you can focus on your good memories of mom and not have her death create undue stress and worry.

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My dad is getting up there and I've really wanted to have the tough conversation of asking about everything. Hey you might die any day. Can we talk about where everything is, let's review the paperwork, be clear who gets each item, and what kind of funeral do you want. 

I think I worry most about the funeral details because that would seem to the worst time to make decisions that can be expensive.

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Do it - Even start by saying you don't care if your parents even show you the contents of the will- just so you know it is up to date and that you know where it is.

Same with insurance, annuity, and retirement plan accounts - just make sure they check the beneficiary and that it is current per their wishes.

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31 minutes ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

My dad is getting up there and I've really wanted to have the tough conversation of asking about everything. Hey you might die any day. Can we talk about where everything is, let's review the paperwork, be clear who gets each item, and what kind of funeral do you want. 

I think I worry most about the funeral details because that would seem to the worst time to make decisions that can be expensive.

I'd suggest leading by example.  Make a simple list of the things that your loved ones would need to know when you pass:

- this is where the will is kept, these people have copies

- this is my life insurance policy information

- information about accounts, mortgages, assets, etc. are kept in the filing cabinet in a file labeled "nice guy eddie's stuff"

- etc.

 

Show your father your list and ask if he has something similar.  If not, ask him if you can help him prepare one.

 

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4 minutes ago, Jerry Callo said:

I'd suggest leading by example.  Make a simple list of the things that your loved ones would need to know when you pass:

- this is where the will is kept, these people have copies

- this is my life insurance policy information

- information about accounts, mortgages, assets, etc. are kept in the filing cabinet in a file labeled "nice guy eddie's stuff"

- etc.

 

Show your father your list and ask if he has something similar.  If not, ask him if you can help him prepare one.

 

Why do I need to do any of that. I'm not dying soon.  - said everyone

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7 hours ago, Reagan1k said:

Great news and kudos to Mom.  That's a symbol of her love and respect for the Diablo clan that she took care of her shit.

That should make things much easier.

PSA - For anyone who doesn't have their financial affairs in order or has parents and you aren't sure if they do - have some conversations with your parents or your kids.

No one likes to talk about death and no parent wants financial advice from a kid who's ass they wiped as a baby - But.....it makes things so much easier after the fact. 

Find their hot button and push it. 

Maybe they are adamant that they want their death to be treated like a celebration.....Then turn that discussion into saying we want to be able to celebrate your life, not scramble and fight to figure out your estate.  Maybe they hate lawyers or the gubment - then tell them you want to make sure their finances are in order so the family doesn't have to pay it all to attorneys and courts to sort it out. 

Whatever it takes - get it clear, on paper, and where someone can find it.

And for goodness sakes, everyone needs to go back and check life insurance, retirement plan, IRA, and annuity beneficiary designations periodically - especially if you have had a divorce, death, birth, or change in the family structure.  Those things are difficult and sometimes impossible to unwind after death - any the process of even trying is costly to the estate.

@El Diablo  I'm sorry for your loss, but am happy for you that this potential burden has been lifted and you can focus on your good memories of mom and not have her death create undue stress and worry.

Yeah, Dad did good. He left mom well enough off that she spent her last 6 years in long term care and never dented the principal, which is a miracle considering he was the son of a share cropper and a high school dropout. Other than the insurance policies, which we tried to get her to designate the beneficiaries on but she didn't want to be bothered, everything else can be distributed easily. 

Anybody know a good probate lawyer in Waco? Ha! 

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5 hours ago, milkman said:

 

 


Rainey & Rainey


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Thanks. Looks like there's only a couple in town that advertise as estate law folks. You have any experience with them personally?

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Thanks. Looks like there's only a couple in town that advertise as estate law folks. You have any experience with them personally?

I don’t have any experience with them. I asked two of my friends that are attorneys in Waco and who they would recommend.

They both said Rainey & Rainey are really good.

Another name one of them suggested is Dick McCall.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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2 hours ago, milkman said:


I don’t have any experience with them. I asked two of my friends that are attorneys in Waco and who they would recommend.

They both said Rainey & Rainey are really good.

Another name one of them suggested is Dick McCall.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I used McCall 30 or years ago for a family law issue and thought about him but jeez, he's got to be getting up there now. Most of the guys I knew once upon a time are either deceased or out of practice, haha. A couple of them have kids practicing now but none in estate law. 

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28 minutes ago, El Diablo said:

I used McCall 30 or years ago for a family law issue and thought about him but jeez, he's got to be getting up there now. Most of the guys I knew once upon a time are either deceased or out of practice, haha. A couple of them have kids practicing now but none in estate law. 

Probate is a pretty ideal practice for an older gent or lady.  The guy who wrote my parents' wills was probably in his 80s when he probated them.  He has since passed.

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