Can my name be excluded as the beneficiary for a life insurance policy after my mother's death? How? 22 Answers as of July 03, 2015

My mother just died. Her husband has Power of Attorney. Can he remove my name from her Insurance policy? Can he control all the funds? When a person has Power of Attorney, can they exclude the beneficiary for a life insurance policy?

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O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, an agent under a power of attorney can be authorized to change beneficiary designations on a life insurance policy, but the agent would have to do that while the principal was alive because an agent's authority under a power of attorney terminates upon the death of the principal. Your mother's husband should not be allowed to remove you as a beneficiary of your mother's life insurance policy after her death.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 7/3/2015
Law Office of T. Phillip Boggess | T. Phillip Boggess
It is possible depending on the powers granted under that POA.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 7/1/2015
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
Depending upon the nature of the powers granted an attorney-in-fact can control funds, or change beneficiaries on an insurance policy. However, once the principal dies (here, your mother) the authority of the attorney-in-fact terminates.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 7/1/2015
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
Yes, you can do a Disclaimer within 9 months of her death.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/1/2015
Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
A power of attorney automatically terminates upon the principal's death. After your mother's death, her husband can't do anything in reliance upon the power of attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/1/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    First, a power of attorney ALWAYS becomes void at death. So, after you mother died; your stepfather no longer holds a POA. Second, an ordinary POA does not allow the holder to make gifts, change wills or change the beneficiary on life insurance. Stealing under cover of a POA is a felony.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/1/2015
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C.
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C. | Elisha Wellerstein
    Once your mother passed, any Agent under a Power of Attorney loses all legal authority. So the answer is no, you cannot be removed off once she passed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/1/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    No. ?A power of attorney fully ends upon the death of the person granting the power. ?The power can not be used to go against the obvious wishes of the person. ?The purpose of such a power is that if a person can not be somewhere to sign a contract, for example, they give that power to someone else who can be there so they can sign on the person's behave. ?He definitely has no right to change anything. ?Talk to him now and clear that point up, diplomatically, to avoid future arguments.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2015
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    All powers of attorney cease at the time of death of the grantor (your mother). Her husband should not be able to change insurance beneficiaries or control the funds. If you are listed as named beneficiary on an insurance policy, contact the insurance company directly and ask what you should do to get the funds released.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/1/2015
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    The power of attorney died with the mother, therefore no longer effective. Consult a probate/trust lawyer to protect your interests against your father and to make inquiry of the insurance company as to who the named beneficiaries are, and make a claim for you as the daughter of the deceased.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    A P/A dies with the person who granted the power, so no, he can?t legally do anything now.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    What normally occurs with the insurance companies, once notified of the death of the insured, the insurance company will get in touch with the beneficiary and send the proceeds to that person.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    Probably not. With most insurance policies, only the insured can change the beneficiary.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    No, no and no. Immediately contact an attorney specializing in estate matters for assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    The authority of an agent under a Power of Attorney ends when the principal dies. Your mother's assets that are not held jointly with her husband could be made subject to court oversight by opening a probate of your mother's estate. Benefits under a life insurance policy are to be delivered to the beneficiary and are not part of a probate estate unless there is no living named beneficiary. If you are a named beneficiary for your mother's life insurance at the time of her death, and you are of majority age, you should receive your share of the death benefit directly from the insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Maybe. It depends what the power of attorney states. If your mother gave him that power then "yes." You may want to have the power of attorney reviewed by a probate/estate planning attorney. Best of luck to you.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C.
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C. | Richard M. Levy
    No. A power of attorney is no longer valid after the person giving the power has died.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    See an attorney, the documents need to be reviewed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    The power of attorney is void upon your mother's death. If your stepfather has used the power of attorney after her death to change the beneficiary designation, then see an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    The moment she dies, his power of attorney expires. If you are beneficiary when she dies, then that is it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    No. First of all, power of attorney is irrelevant after the principal has died. It has no further effect. Second, the insurance company has beneficiaries named on its policy. That's a contractual obligation on their part to pay the proceeds as directed by the owner of the policy. Now, if your mom didn't name you as a beneficiary, but named her estate, then the personal representative of the estate could take control of the funds, and a whole different set of rules would be in play. Someone needs to review the actual documents in this matter, and advise you on your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/30/2015
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Me know if you were already a beneficiary but you need to call the insurance company. If it was a joint policy or he was the owner it is possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2015
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