Life Insurance Beneficiaries Lawyers

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How Do I Collect the Proceeds From a Life Insurance Policy?

If you are a beneficiary of a life insurance policy and the insured party dies, you can start collecting on the policy at any time. This applies even if you tried to start collecting a few years after the insured party died. In fact, if you have not started collecting until a few years after the insured party has died, you may be entitled to collect interest on the policy as well.

The first step you would want to take is contact the insurance company, get a claim form and file it with a certified copy of the death certificate. Factors that would stop a beneficiary from collecting on the policy would be if the insured party had made any misstatement or misrepresentation about his health, or if any exclusions in the policy apply.

If the insured party died within 2 years of the date the policy was issued, the insurance provider has the option to challenge the policy based on any false statements made by the insured party about his health. Another factor that could prevent the policy from being paid is if the insured party committed suicide within 2 years of signing the policy, though the laws regulating this aspect of the policy vary from state to state.

Can a Beneficiary Who is Under 18 Collect on the Policy after the Insured Party Has Died?

If the insured party names a minor (a person under 18 years old) as a beneficiary, the insurance company cannot pay the beneficiary until they turn 18 years old, even if the insured party dies before that point. What happens to the money until the beneficiary turns 18 usually depends on state law. In some states the insurance company will just hold the money and gather interest on it until the beneficiary turns 18. In other states the insurance company must give the money to a court-appointed custodian or local bank until the beneficiary turns 18.

What Should I Do if I Am a Beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy and I Think the Insurance Company is Improperly Holding Money from Me?

You will probably want to contact an attorney who has experience dealing with life insurance matters. Your lawyer will be able to give you a sense of what you are entitled to and what course of action you should take. In a civil lawsuit against the insurance company you may be eligible for compensation for the amount owed to you under the policy plus interest.

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Last Modified: 11-22-2011 04:35 PM PST

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