When there is no beneficiary named on a policy the estate becomes the beneficiary. IF the deceased has children, or grand children, the funds will eventually go to them. IF no children, then it get complicated, but if no heirs are found, the money will eventually go to the state.
It will be treated as an asset of the decedent's probate estate and governed either by the person's will or by the intestate law of the state.
In other words, those assets that would've been protected from creditors will now be available to those creditors... and that stinks.
This is not legal advice. I am not your lawyer. You are not my client. You cannot rely on my response to your question. My response to your question is probably worth exactly what you paid for it. You don't get to sue me for anything. If you'd like to sue me, well you have to hire me first.
The other answers are correct, but I am sure you want to know what the procedure is from this point.
Timing is the first question. If it is within one year from the date of death, then you file an application with the Probate Court either for a small estate Administration if it is under $40,000 or four regular Administration if it is over $40,000.
The most qualified candidates to be in charge are the surviving spouse or an adult child. Of course you will need a certified copy of the death certificate. You will also need to post a bond equal to the amount of money involved, to the next $1,000. The attorney can help you with that.
This comment does not create an attorney-client relationship. The law and its application by the courts is constantly evolving and changing. This discussion is not to be taken as a definitive guide, and should not be relied upon to determine all fact situations. Each set of facts must be examined separately with the current case and statutory law analyzed and applied accordingly.
The proceeds will be handled though probate proceedings. Either by directions though a Will (if there is one) or state statute (to next nearest family members - children, grandchildren, etc.) The exact probate procedure depends upon the face value of the policy. Consult a competent probate St. Louis attorney ASAP, please. Best wishes.
This is general legal information and not legal advice. I would need to be retained and know all of the facts involved to give legal advice. INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE IS ADVISED! The forgoing opinion is based upon limited information. The answer provided is not intended as a substitute for legal representation and does not create an attorney/client relationship in any way.
The insurance proceeds will be paid into the estate of the insured, if an estate is opened up in the probate division of the court in the county where the decedent resided. The insurance company should be notified once the estate is opened up. If all else fails, I believe that the insurance company will pay the proceeds into a state pool for unclaimed monies. Or they might not pay it out at all, depending on the policies of the insurance company.
The specific facts are different in each individual case, my response is provided for general, informational purposes only and should not be construed as specific advice directed to any individual person. Since I have not had the opportunity to review all the specific facts and any supporting or explanatory documents in this matter, this general opinion should not be relied upon in your specific case. This communication is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship with any specific person and should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship by any individual.
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