My boyfriend suddenly passed away in February. He left behind our two kids. He didn't have a will or really any assets. However he did have a life insurance policy through his employer for $40,000. The beneficiaries were our two children.
I jumped through the hoops such as giving them a death certificate, but now they're saying they'll be mailing me the check payable to the "Estate of...." because our kids are minors.
How should I deal with this check? I want to be able to deposit it somewhere until the kids turn 18, or else just use it on their behalf. But I don't know what to do with it written out to the estate like that.
A couple years ago my mom passed with just a bank account and I was able to use a Transfer by Affidavit to get her bank account. Can I do that now for my kids?
In my state you would have to open a probate case in a local court and have yourself named personal representative of the estate. Then as the personal rep you should be able to endorse the check for deposit into an account setup for you kids. I'd consult with a family law or general practice attorney in your area, use Avvo to find one. Most attorneys will do a short consultation on a hourly basis. Good luck.
You will have to set up an Estate through the local Surrogates Court and they will then direct how the money for the kids should be maintained and distributed. Local counsel doing probate/Wills and Estates can help you.
Meet with an estate/probate attorney to open up a probate case as suggested.
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.
I have attached a link that provides information on what to do when the beneficiary is a child.
If you have further questions, it is recommended that you consult with a local attorney.
That is incorrect, and a life insurance attorney can help, but be mindful probate and estate type lawyers do more harm than good
No, you can not use the same Transfer by Affidavit option that worked for your mother's bank account because a bank account is different in nature than a life insurance policy, which is a contract. The other attorneys who expiained the need for a court appointment are correct. That is a routine procedure for a small estate consisting of just one check . The lack of a Will doesn't matter. Once appointed, you could then go to a bank, open a bank account in the name of the Estate and endorse and deposit the check. One other option is to ask the insurance company how they might issue the check if you got yourself appointed as the Legal Guardian of the minor children. This option still requires going to court (and I realize that you're already the biological mother), but maybe, in your state and in your circumstances it could allow for both objectives of depositing of the check and a longer period of legal authority to manage the funds for minors.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline