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  1. #1
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    May 2020
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    Default My Dad's Life Insurance Policy and Who is Legally Entitled to What

    My question involves insurance law for the state of: Michigan. I am a female 26 years old. When I was 19 my dad committed suicide from suffering from closed brain injuries as a firefighter. He had a $500,000 life insurance policy as well as a $2,000,000 settlement that was won in his favor after his death. My mother's main and only goal was to collect money and abandoned her children as soon as she could. I was the only child out of three above 18 so she constantly needed my signature for lawyers and court hearings to help her win the settlements. I am not sure if there was a will but when she got the life insurance money and claim money she said our dad wanted $24,000 to be in an account for each of his kids until they turned 24. Conveniently my mom disowned me before my 24 birthday and moved out of state and spent every last penny of the life insurance money and settlement money on her new husband. She also admitted to being unfaithful and even bringing her bf to our dads funeral. I have never seen a dime and she left me homeless at 18 after witnessing my dad commit suicide. And now one of my two younger siblings is getting close to turning 24 where she was suppose to be able to access the money left and conveniently my mom disowned her and stopped speaking to her. I then got a call from my dad's old lawyer saying my mom was requesting and needing my signature stating she is mentally sound to Handle my siblings finances until they are of age because she has blown through her part of the policy money. Is there anyway for me to know if I have rights as his daughter or the fact 2)3 of his children were abandoned and never saw a penny from the policy or settlement money. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,592

    Default Re: My Dad's Life Insurance Policy and Who is Legally Entitled to What

    The life insurance gets paid to the beneficiary (if it's pays out at all, suicide is often excluded). If she was the beneficiary, the money is hers to deal with without regard to the will, or what was said about promising part of it to anybody. She's free to disown her adult children (and frankly, that's doesn't really enter into play until SHE dies). We can't determine what, if any, you are due from the settlement money. Unless the children were part of teh settlement, the money again is likely hers to deal with as she likes. It would take an attorney to look into this. There's not much we can do to help you over the internet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: My Dad's Life Insurance Policy and Who is Legally Entitled to What

    Sorry for the loss of your dad.

    With a life insurance policy it matters who your dad named as a beneficiary. If he named you as a beneficiary, you get the percentage that he indicated. If he did not name you as a beneficiary, then you get nothing.

    The same applies to the settlement. If you were named as a recipient of the settlement, then you get something. If you weren't you don't.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: My Dad's Life Insurance Policy and Who is Legally Entitled to What

    Quote Quoting Katelyncoo
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    Is there anyway for me to know if I have rights as his daughter or the fact 2)3 of his children were abandoned and never saw a penny from the policy or settlement money.
    You'll need an attorney to figure out if you have any "rights" to any money. No way to tell from here.

    That your mother needs your signature, however, certainly give you leverage since your signature appears to be worth money to here.

    As for a will, you can check the probate court in the county where your father resided and see if there is a probate file.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: My Dad's Life Insurance Policy and Who is Legally Entitled to What

    Quote Quoting Katelyncoo
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    He had a $500,000 life insurance policy as well as a $2,000,000 settlement that was won in his favor after his death.
    I'm confused by part of this sentence. You wrote that the $2M settlement "was won in his favor after his death." If it was not won until after his death, what do you mean by saying that "he had" this settlement? What was the settlement for? Who were the parties to the settlement?


    Quote Quoting Katelyncoo
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    My mother[] . . . constantly needed my signature for lawyers and court hearings to help her win the settlements.
    Just so we're clear, a settlement is a mutual agreement by which two or more parties agree to resolve a dispute. One does not "win" a settlement.

    By the way, did you read and understand the various things that you signed?


    Quote Quoting Katelyncoo
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    Conveniently my mom disowned me
    Just so you're aware, the word "disown" has no legal meaning as concerns a person who is still alive.


    Quote Quoting Katelyncoo
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    Is there anyway for me to know if I have rights as his daughter or the fact 2)3 of his children were abandoned and never saw a penny from the policy or settlement money.
    Everyone has rights.

    As to the life insurance proceeds, only the named beneficiary was entitled to that money. One would assume your mother was the named beneficiary.

    As to the settlement proceeds, one would need to review the relevant documentation, including the settlement agreement, and particularly any documents you signed.

    As concerns what is now being requested, you're free not to sign anything.

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    The life insurance gets paid to the beneficiary (if it's pays out at all, suicide is often excluded).
    I agree that life insurance polices often have suicide exclusions, but those exclusions typically expire after the policy has been in effect for a year or two.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    2

    Default Re: My Dad's Life Insurance Policy and Who is Legally Entitled to What

    He was not excluded from his policy because of suicide. In fact he double checked before he killed himself that we would all still be covered by his $500,000 policy. He was in court against the state of MI because he got a closed brain injury working for the state at a fire fighter and they cut his insurance to which we proved led and caused his suicide. It was in court when he was alive but he died before a settlement was made which came out to a couple million dollars. I'm not sure who the beneficiary is but I do know she needed me to come to court and constantly needed my signatures to win the settlment and for her to qualify for my dad's insurance policy because his mother and father tried making claim to the money as well. I'm not even as worried for myself as I am for my sister's. They were both minors when the policy was paid out along with the settlement. Like I said her lawyers keep contacting me needing my signature stating she's of sound mind to handle their finances until they reach 24 like my dad requested. I find it very hard to believe a wife gets every penny from a husband's death but the children are left to fend for themselves. Ontop of the fact she brought her new bf to My dad's funeral and was married months later. She's admitted to being unfaithful and only sticking around for the finances. Any information is helpful over none, again as I was told by my dad's lawyer he wanted $24,000 out of the life insurance policy and settlement money to be put in a trust fund for each of his children till they turned 24 to which he requested we use the money on a house, wedding or schooling. But obviously my mother had other plans once my dad wasn't in the picture.

    It might not mean anything for me since I was 18 when he died. But my siblings were 7 and 12 so I find it hard to believe they have no rights to the finances left by their fathers death be it the life insurance policy or the settlement he got from the state of MI for cutting of his insurance at a brain rehabilitation center while working for the fire Dept. And I don't find it a coincidence she's cutting off her other children as they all get to the age my dad requested for them to be able to access their trust funds. My mom was the only one with access to the accounts aside from us until we are of age and she just emptied out my account and moved out of state so I couldn't confront her and now she's strategically cutting my siblings off as the come of age.

    The question of my rights is the fact his mom and dad were taking my mother to court over rights to the insurance policy. My mother needed me to go to court to testify that my grandparents has molested me as a child proving that they had been estranged from my dad and the family. So she wouldn't have even been granted any of the money had I not went to court and testified on her behalf.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: My Dad's Life Insurance Policy and Who is Legally Entitled to What

    Quote Quoting Katelyncoo
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    He was not excluded from his policy because of suicide. In fact he double checked before he killed himself that we would all still be covered by his $500,000 policy. He was in court against the state of MI because he got a closed brain injury working for the state at a fire fighter and they cut his insurance to which we proved led and caused his suicide. It was in court when he was alive but he died before a settlement was made which came out to a couple million dollars. I'm not sure who the beneficiary is but I do know she needed me to come to court and constantly needed my signatures to win the settlment and for her to qualify for my dad's insurance policy because his mother and father tried making claim to the money as well. I'm not even as worried for myself as I am for my sister's. They were both minors when the policy was paid out along with the settlement. Like I said her lawyers keep contacting me needing my signature stating she's of sound mind to handle their finances until they reach 24 like my dad requested. I find it very hard to believe a wife gets every penny from a husband's death but the children are left to fend for themselves. Ontop of the fact she brought her new bf to My dad's funeral and was married months later. She's admitted to being unfaithful and only sticking around for the finances. Any information is helpful over none, again as I was told by my dad's lawyer he wanted $24,000 out of the life insurance policy and settlement money to be put in a trust fund for each of his children till they turned 24 to which he requested we use the money on a house, wedding or schooling. But obviously my mother had other plans once my dad wasn't in the picture.

    It might not mean anything for me since I was 18 when he died. But my siblings were 7 and 12 so I find it hard to believe they have no rights to the finances left by their fathers death be it the life insurance policy or the settlement he got from the state of MI for cutting of his insurance at a brain rehabilitation center while working for the fire Dept. And I don't find it a coincidence she's cutting off her other children as they all get to the age my dad requested for them to be able to access their trust funds. My mom was the only one with access to the accounts aside from us until we are of age and she just emptied out my account and moved out of state so I couldn't confront her and now she's strategically cutting my siblings off as the come of age.

    The question of my rights is the fact his mom and dad were taking my mother to court over rights to the insurance policy. My mother needed me to go to court to testify that my grandparents has molested me as a child proving that they had been estranged from my dad and the family. So she wouldn't have even been granted any of the money had I not went to court and testified on her behalf.
    As noted above, the life insurance would go only to the beneficiary which was likely your mother and likely the assets of your father's estate would've gone to her as well. Children are not automatically entitled to a slice of their parents estate unless they are the next of kin and the deceased was intestate. Your father could've left his entire estate to his next door neighbor and there isn't a thing that could've been done about it.

    Were there actually trust funds? Trust funds can be used , in cases like these, for the support of children as well. While it's not uncommon to hear of abuses of the trust funds of minors it's very difficult to do anything about and certainly be costly where legal fees are concerned.

    Sometimes your just handed a great big s*(t sandwich and all you have are two options: eat it or walk away. To be clear, it's highly unlikely you'll be able to effect change on your own and you've also provided the signatures that have been requested, right? You've provided any consent or whatever that was asked of you. In court these documents could certainly be used against your case and saying "I didn't know what I was doing!" isn't going to work.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

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