The answer would depend on the law of the State where the insurance contract was negotiated and there are many sources of that law. If we assume that the insurance is subject to the law of Massachusetts, and that the return of premiums to the Estate was based on a unilateral mistake, that is, a mistake by the insurer but not the Estate, the Estate can be viewed as a donee or recipient of a gift, especially if circumstances change between the time of the erroneous payment and the time of request for repayment. For instance, the Estate is already liquidated or the money was used to pay an expense. Also, the fraud issue is to the Estate's benefit in that the reason for the return of the premiums was based upon a motivation self interest of the insurer, not the interests of the beneficiary or the decedent's intention. I would check with a local lawyer to make sure but it appears the Estate is under no legal obligation to return the premium payments.
This answer is not intended to be legal advice in a lawyer/client relationship. Misunderstanding of the answer or use of the answer for any illegal purpose is not the responsibility of the writer. The answer to any question in the Avvo website is constrained by the limited content of the question, an incomplete description of the facts underlying the question or a wrongful motivation for the question.
I agree with Mr. Dion.
The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Howard Roitman, Esq. and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.
Depending upon the circumstances, it may not be economical for either the estate or the life insurance to litigate the matter. If it cost the estate money, or put it in a disadvantaged position, you may just want to offer the insurance company a portion, or none, of the premiums. Good luck.