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Q

I discovered a life insurance policy on my mother’s life after she died last spring. The beneficiary was my father who died in 2000. Nearly all of their assets were held in a revocable living trust so no probate was required. The insurance company refuses to release the money without Letters of Administration from the Probate court. I was told about the Summary Administration and prepared the necessary documents to file, but before I spent $400 for filing fees I asked the insurance company if the Summary Administration would suffice. They refuse to agree to accept the Summary Administration and keep threatening to escheat the funds and send them to Florida’s Unclaimed Property Division. I am the sole beneficiary and the value of the insurance policy is far less than $75K. The quote I got for Letters of Administration even exceeds the insurance’s value, but that’s not my question. I am in no hurry for the money, so the question is, if they escheat the funds to the Florida Unclaimed Property Division, what will I need to do to get the money from them? Is this a simpler process, or will I still have to go to the Probate court for a Summary Administration?

A

I would definitely recommend doing a full administration to recover the assets that were left to your father, who was deceased.  I think you made a mistake doing a summary administration.

I would do a full summary administration as it is much easier, and then you have a Judge who can issue an order requiring the insurance company to pay the funds into your mother’s estate, and then the Judge can determine who gets the assets.  I would not wait on this, as if the funds go into the unclaimed property division, it will make things a bit more difficult, but not impossible to fix.

Let me know if you are interested in retaining our firm to help you, I have handled this exact same situation in the past for other clients and been successful.  It is really a matter of the insurance company getting an order from the court allowing them to put the money into an estate account for your mother.  The insurance companies are typically scared to act without a court order requiring them to do something, as they don’t want to be held liable if they disperse the money to the wrong person.

Feel free to contact me to arrange a free consultation.

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