Life Insurance Policy only asset

Probate Question:

Life Insurance Policy is only asset.

A Life Insurance Policy is the only thing of value the father of my 11 year old child left when he was killed in a road accident.   We weren’t living together. life insurance policyThe policy had a note on it as to how the benefits were to be distributed but I rang the insurance company and they won’t pay out without a Grant of Probate, but there isn’t a Will.  What should I do?

Probate Answer:

It sounds as if the note on the life insurance policy was one written by him, rather than a proper Trust Form.  But you should ask the life company to confirm in writing that the life insurance policy was NOT written in Trust. If it turns out that it was in Trust, then all that is necessary to claim is the death certificate and proof of identity of the beneficiaries – assuming of course that you or you child ARE amongst the class of beneficiaries..

If the life insurance policy was NOT written in Trust, then you will, I am afraid, have to go through the rigmarole of obtaining probate – technically a ‘grant of letters of administration’.

In terms of the note left with the life insurance policy, if it turns out to be a formal trust, things are easy!  If not, it seems that your son will inherit everything, assuming there was no current spouse, or any other children.  If this turns out not to be the case, then it may be necessary for you and your son to lodge a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 as updated in 2014.

If your son does inherit everything, any gift to a third party to honour his fathers wishes would legally required a deed of variation and, while he is under 18, Court approval.

Moral of this tale –

Life Insurance policies should normally be in Trust!