The life insurance policy has the name of the trust, "Jane Smith Revocable Trust dated 01-29-11" and the trust is changed years later (more than once) each time changing trustees and beneficiaries but a more recent statement from the life insurance company still reflects the older date. Would the last named trustee be entitled to receive the money from that insurance policy simply because that person was named as the sole beneficiary of the estate (with the exception of some personal items left to others)? Is it possible that the original beneficiaries of the life ins. policy would still be entitled to receive the funds?
“What happens when a revocable trust includes a life insurance policy and is later changed but not the date on life ins. policy?” Hopefully, the trust was merely amended or restated appropriately so that it always was named "Jane Smith Revocable Trust dated 01-29-11." If so, the current trustee of that trust would be entitled to receive the proceeds of the life insurance policy for distribution to the current beneficiaries of the trust.
If not, the issue is whether the designation in the life insurance policy is any good. If contingent beneficiaries were named then perhaps the insurance contract would provide that the contingent beneficiaries would take. If there is ambiguity regarding who should receive the benefits of the insurance policy the company likely would file an interpleader action and let a court decide who is the rightful beneficiary.
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5 lawyers agree
Mr. Daymude offers sound advice. If the trust was revised with a title something like Amended and Restated Trust of ___________ dated 1/29/11 then there would be no problem. This points out the need to have an estate planning attorney attend to not only wills and trusts but beneficiary designatiions. You and other readers can see why attention to details and having trained and experienced estate planning attorneys involved is critical and often essential.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
I hesitate to add more than complimenting the two attorneys who answered first. The need to get a conultation is a very important suggestion. Although very often active clients of ours have questions which we answer without chargeing a fee, it is worth retaining an attorney even if a consultation fee is needed- the results of procrastinating can lead to a very, very bad outcome,, i.e.- penny wise.......etc
Bob Brenna Jr
Brenna Brenna and Boyce pllc
Rochester, New York 14614
Bob, Robert L. Brenna, Jr. No relationship is intended, agreed upon or accepted by answering this general question Brenna Brenna and Boyce PLLC Rochester, New York firstname.lastname@example.org
3 lawyers agree
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
I am having a little trouble understanding your question. However, generally, insurance is a contract. You need to look at the beneficiary designation on the insurance contract, and whomever that states, will control. To be payable to the trust, the beneficiary designation probably should say something similar to "Jane Doe, trustee of the Jane Doe Revocable Trust, or successor trustee." To be payable to an individual, it will just say "Jane Doe." In the case of being payable to an individual, it would not transfer to the trust directly, but if Jane Doe has a will with language that effectively sends that property to her trust, then the trust will get the insurance proceeds but only after probating the will.
Complicated? Yes, and consulting with a lawyer probably is worth the cost.
Holbrook & Associates LLC
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