My mom recently passed away with a life insurance policy with my father as her beneficiary. He predeceased her. She has a living trust that my sister and I were successor trustees, and after dad passed, made an amendment to the trust where my sister and I were co-trustees and waived the provisions of California Probate Code Section 15620 requiring designated co-trustees to act jointly and instead direct that any co-trustee can act unilaterally and alone on behalf of the trust. In the trust, it states that all life insurance policies are included in the trust. When I made a claim for the trust to be paid, I included the trust documents and the amended trust document where my sister and I joined the trust (after my father's passing).
The life insurance will not release the proceeds for the policy as they need Letters of Administration appointing an Administrator/Executor for the Estate of my mom.
You may, but the better course of action would be to file a Heggstad Petition and have the court deem the proceeds a trust asset since they are mentioned in the trust. Without reviewing the policy and trust itself it is difficult to say if that would work, but if it won't and the proceeds exceed $150,000, your only choice will be probate.
Probate may/not be necessary. Depends on information not provided.
If mother did not change beneficiary designations with life insurance company, they will not release funds to trust absent court order.
Insurer will only release policy benefit to named beneficiary until instructed otherwise by court.
I need to review more facts and trust to opine further.
You don't pay fees to be appointed as Executor. What needs to be done, though, depends on the amount of the money in the life insurance policy. You have a couple of options. One being the Heggsted petition as suggested and the other would be having a petition for small estate approved, not just drafted and signed as an affidavit, by the court. You really need to talk to a probate attorney to get the right help and to get it done effectively.
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