I recently took out a very large amount of life insurance on me and my husband. My husband's adult kids had mentioned to me that they would sue me for any life insurance benefit should my husband passes away. His ex wife has also said she would sue me if all of his arrears are not paid off. His kids are 26 and 30. He owes a small amount of back child support which we thought should have been paid off years ago. Would they be able to sue me although I am the one who is paying the premiums? Also, could they sue him for my life insurance benefits if something happened to me?
Generally speaking, a life insurance contract, even if taken out and paid for by a deceased, is a contractual agreement between the insurance company and the insured, and not a part of a decedent's (departed person's) probate estate.
A life insurance policy taken out and paid for by someone other than the decedent is even further removed from a decedent's estate.
However, If he was to survive you, and receive life insurance proceeds upon your death, then his ex-wife could potentially sue him for back child support, knowing that he has money available to pay a judgment.
Please be aware that there are a number of details and circumstances that you and your husband would need to discuss with a probate attorney in a confidential setting so that you can receive actual legal advice on the matter. (This answer does not constitute legal advice, but is merely a discussion of some of the general legal principles having to do with your question.)
Normally, no. A person cannot sue you because you receive life insurance proceeds. Life insurance is considered a nonprobate asset, which means that it is distributed outside of the probate process.
As long as there was no fraud, or similiar circumstances involved in obtaining the policy, the insurance company will pay the named beneficiary and no other parties have a right to the proceeds.
As far as the back child support is concerned, you may be able to claim injured spouse in order to limit your liability for your husband's debt. You may want to speak with an estate planning attorney to make sure that the children would not have a claim. Many offer free consultations. Good luck to you.
Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been created and we have no obligations to you or your case.
They can sue, but that doesn't mean they are likely to win.
Your strongest move is for both you and your husband to execute wills with a lawyer. Also do Powers of Attorney for medical and financial matters, and Advance Directives.
You are smart to plan now - it is much less expensive than probate without planning.
This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.
You can't prevent someone from suing you but through proper planning you can make them fight with limited weapons on an unfavorable field. Any claim against the insurance proceeds payable to you would be legally very weak, in my opinion. Such a lawsuit should be easily won and a waste of money on their side. If your husband owes child support, he can be sued at any time and any assets, including your life insurance policy payable to him, can be a source of collection.
There is no legal relationship created or implied by the exchange of message on this website. All statements are not to be construed as legal advice but as general guidance. In all cases, an attorney should be retained to review the full circumstances and deliver advice consistent with the information learned.
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