If it is estate property (not beneficiary designated to you only) then it goes in the estate and follows what the will says, period. If you aren't as well off as the others that is irrelevant. Perhaps the others will agree to let you keep it but that would be a settlement up to them.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature.
Attorney Zellinger is correct. If the will says "all my estate to the following 9 people" and you try to claim the money without letting them know, you are basically stealing from them. I think you know this. Now assuming the policy listed the estate as beneficiary or someone who died before your father, there is still a possibility that you will not legally be required to split the insurance 9 ways. Look at the will, or better yet, have an attorney look at it. Are each of the 9 people listed outright beneficiaries under the will? Are some contingent beneficiaries who would only inherit if a primary beneficiary were to die before your father? If the other 8 people inherit, do they inherit the same percentage as you? Then begin the process of tracking them down. If they are as well-off as you think, some may be willing to disclaim the money.
This answer provides general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation. It is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The attorney writing this post is licensed in Texas and Washington only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ.
Unfortunately, financial need does not mean money can pass contrary to the terms of the estate.
This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit www.justinelderlaw.com.