Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

My husband passed away 3/29/15. He had a small Prudential life insurance policy that the beneficiary remained his deceased Father - he never changed the beneficiary. both his parents are deceased and he was an only child.

I have a letter of Administration for the state of Maryland in which we reside however the insurance company states that is not sufficient

What do I need to do to claim the benefit. As it stands now I have been unable to claim the benefit.

Asked on 4/11/16, 7:44 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Miriam Jacobson Retired from practice of law

Ask Prudential what it needs in order to pay the proceeds into the estate.


* If the answers to your question confirm that you have a valid issue or worthwhile claim, your next step should almost always be to establish a dialog with a lawyer who can provide specific advice to you. Contact a lawyer in your county or township.

* Another reason for contacting a lawyer is that it is often impossible to give a good answer in the Internet Q&A format without having more information. The unique circumstances of your situation and things that you may not have thought to mention in your question may completely change the answer. If you want to be sure that you have a complete answer to your question and an understanding of what that answer means, establish a connection with a lawyer who practices in the area of your concern.

Read more
Answered on 4/11/16, 10:02 am

First, why are you directing this question to Pennsylvania attorneys if you reside in Maryland and the estate is pending there? You also do not indicate important facts, like whether your husband left a will, or whether there were any children.

It would have been better if your husband named a contingent beneficiary or changed the beneficiary on his policy once it became clear that his father died. However, since your husband only named his father as beneficiary and the father is deceased (I assume your husband's father died prior to your husband), then the money would be payable to the estate for your husband. If you have been appointed administrator of the estate and provided a copy of the death certificate then the insurance company should pay the funds to the estate for your husband and they should be deposited into the estate account.

I suggest that you at least pay for a consult with a Maryland probate attorney who practices in the county where the estate for your husband is pending. The attorney should be helping you gather assets. Failing that, I would agree with Attorney Jacobson. If a death certificate and an order from the court appointing you as administrator is not sufficient, what more does Prudential want? The only possible issue I could think of is if the policy was taken out less than 2 years prior to death and your husband committed suicide or committed some act of falsifying the information on the application. In such cases, the insurer can contest paying. However, you would have to read the policy and you do not relate any of the other details so this is just speculation.

Read more
Answered on 4/11/16, 8:30 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Probate, Trusts, Wills & Estates questions and answers in Pennsylvania