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Life Insurance Paying For Funeral

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Life Insurance Paying For Funeral

Postby Zeru » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:49 am

My sister did not have a beneficary listed on her life insurance policy. When making the funeral arrangements I asked her 18 year old eldest son would he mind if the insurance paid for his mothers funeral. He said yes and signed paperwork at the funeral home stating the insurance would pay for her funeral since then he has reniged on this and will not pay the funeral expenses, which sucks becuase my name is on the paperwork as well. However he had to sign off on certain things insurance and embalming for the funeral to even commence. There will be a probate hearing in August where I'm sure he will be proclaimed executor of her estate(sister didnt have a will). After he is named executor of the estate can I then sue the estate to pay for her funeral expenses? Also his Dad(my sister divorced him 10 yrs ago) is acting like he is executor of the estate is this illegal. Oh yes and all of this is taking place in California. I cannot afford to pay 13K for my sisters funeral. ANY HELP IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

ANSWER: Thanks for letting me know this is California law - it really helps!

Assuming that there is a probate, you are considered a "priority" creditor.  In fact, you are the FIRST creditor paid - even if there's not enough to pay the lawyer his/her fees, you get paid(that's priority!).

In order to be paid, you must file a "creditor's claim form" within FOUR months of the date on which the executor is appointed as executor by the Court(wait until the executor is appointed before you file the claim).

You can obtain a creditor's claim form here:http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/forms.cgi  

Choose form "DE-172".

Follow the instructions carefully and make sure you fill it in completely.  Make sure you mail a copy to the executor and ALSO to the Court Clerk - you must send it to BOTH.  If you know who the lawyer for the executor is, you can send him/her a copy, too(but be sure you send a copy to the executor & the court).

The Court is really "picky" about these kinds of forms.  They will return the form to you unfiled unless you "two-hole" punch it at the top.  To make sure it's been filed with the Court, I recommend you send an extra copy and a self -addressed stamped envelope.  Ask the Court to return an "endorsed, filed copy" to you - it will have a stamp on it that shows the day & time that the Court received it.  Although it's extremely rare for the Court to lose a document, if you have an endorsed filed copy you can use that copy to prove it was filed with the Court.

If your sister's estate is really small and there isn't enough to pay your claim, you still should be able to sue your nephew for "breach of contract".  I don't handle those kinds of cases, so I don't know the procedure - but wait a couple of months to see if he acknowledges your claim or not before you take that action.

As to whether your ex-brother-in-law has the right to act as executor ... the answer is "I doubt it".  But it's not uncommon for a family member to "unofficially" do a lot of the executor's work, especially if the executor is young or inexperienced.

This information is not intended to substitute for professional legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should accept legal advice only from a licensed legal professional with whom you have an attorney-client relationship.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thanks again for your help my follow-up question is do I have to turn in the claim(DE-172) in the same court probate is being held? Also do I have to wait for the actual probate hearing or can I turn in my claim now that the letters for the hearing have sent from the court.
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Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:17 am

Life Insurance Paying For Funeral

Postby Konrad » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:55 am

Wait until the executor has been appointed.  It should be on the date of the first hearing, unless there's a "glitch".  You can probably check the case file on line(in many of the counties, at least) to see if "letters" have been issued.  That's the key that starts the clock running ... you only have 4 months from that date(& not a single day longer) to turn in your claim.

Make sure you send a copy BOTH to the court AND to the executor.
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:37 pm

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