FATHER IN LAW STATED BEFORE DEATH THAT HIS DEATH BENEFIT INSURANCE POLICIES THROUGH THE TOWN OF METHUEN MASS WAS IN MY WIFES NAME HIS DAUGHTER. SOME SNAFU THROUGH THE TOWN OR FATHER IN LAW HAS LEFT THE BENEFICIARY AS HIS SECOND WIFE THAT HE HAS BEEN DIVORCED FROM FOR TWENTY YEARS. SHE MAY NOT SURRENDER THE FUNDS TO PAY FOR FUNERAL EXPENSES. (SHE IS THINKING ABOUT IT ) IS SHE OR CAN SHE BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE CHARGES?? MY WIFE HAS SIGNED THE FUNERAL HOME PAPER WORK. DO WE HAVE ANY RECOURSE ??? WE DO NOT HAVE THE FUNDS TO PAY FOR THE EXPENSES. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR ANY ADVISE YOU CAN GIVE .
Sorry to hear about your loss. It must be difficult to deal with the financial stress, in addition to the emotional stress.
The bad news is that your wife signed the funeral home contract, so she most likely is personally liable for the debt. The good news is that she will be entitled to reimbursement from her father's estate, if there are estate funds available.
Technically, life insurance policies paid to a beneficiary are not estate funds unless the beneficiary is the estate. That means that your father-in-law's ex-wife has no legal obligation to turn over the funds. However, your wife may have the right to file a lawsuit claiming that "in fairness" the funds were mistakenly paid to the ex-wife, and that your wife should be the beneficiary.
To find out the legal options in this situation, consult a lawyer in your area who practices probate law.
So very sorry for your loss. I agree your wife will be liable for the funeral expenses as she signed the contract. Hopefully there will be an estate to probate. If so, the funeral expenses are given a priority in the final resolution of the probated estate. If there is no estate to probate she may be little recourse. Filing a claim against the ex wife maybe throwing good money after bad in my opinion. My best advise is to seek out legal counsel who can determine if there is an estate to probate. Best of luck to you!
This response does not constitute legal advice. Please be represented by an experienced lawyer in all legal matters.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline