Many estate planning attorneys will offer a complimentary consultation and you should definitely take advantage of the same. He or she can make sure that you have your ducks in a row should your step-father contest the claim. Furthermore, you will then have an attorney in-place to assist you going forward rather than scrambling at the moment of the claim. Good luck to you.
This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.
I agree with attorney Pankowski.
This could be an estate claim question or a statute of limitation question or both.
There is little that you can do at this point except wait.
If this a question of the deceased being incompetent-you could try to discuss with his primary
doctor but most client information is privileged.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
"one fully paid by the employer, the other an add on she paid monthly for directly from her check". It appears the funds used to pay the insurance premiums were community property. The surviving spouse has a claim on the community property. At least half of the insurance proceeds likely belong to the surviving spouse since your mother has no right to give away the spouse's property without his consent.
If the insurance company knows of the marriage, the company likely would ask the court to decide who should get the money since the company likely does not want to pay twice on the proceeds.