Was My Cousin Allowed to Buy Life Insurance on My Mom?

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Pricey Penny,

My mom died after a number of years with Alzheimer’s within the Philippines. Whereas she was dwelling in Maryland, a cousin took an insurance coverage coverage on her. She agreed understanding that she would solely pay $50 a month and the remaining can be shouldered by her niece. 

Now my cousin is asking for 4 loss of life certificates and needs me to fill out kinds as a result of, in response to her, I’m the beneficiary. If she is the proprietor of the coverage, what does it should do with me? I requested for a replica of the coverage as a result of I do not know what she is making an attempt to do. Please assist.

-Confused Daughter

Pricey Confused,

Belief your intestine. Don’t give your cousin your mom’s loss of life certificates or any private data she asks for.

There are numerous issues that sound sketchy right here. The most important pink flag is that your cousin owned a life insurance coverage coverage in your mother. You possibly can’t simply take out an insurance coverage coverage on anybody. Simply think about how rife for abuse the system can be if we might all make bets on each other’s lives.

To personal a life insurance coverage coverage on another person, it’s essential to have an insurable curiosity of their lives, which means you’d undergo a monetary loss within the occasion of their loss of life. It’s sometimes assumed that you’ve got an insurable curiosity within the lifetime of your partner or your youngster. You possibly can even have an insurable curiosity within the lifetime of your ex-spouse in the event that they’ve been ordered to pay you alimony or youngster assist. However it’s unlikely {that a} niece would have an insurable curiosity within the lifetime of her aunt, until there have been uncommon circumstances — like they have been enterprise companions or your cousin had co-signed a mortgage to your mother.

You additionally want the individual’s consent to take out insurance coverage on their life. I’ve to surprise: Did your mom absolutely perceive what she was signing? Or if you happen to solely just lately found this coverage, is it doable that your cousin might have solid her signature? It’s additionally odd that your mom was making partial funds in case your cousin owned the coverage.

It’s fairly implausible that your cousin would have purchased life insurance coverage to your mother out of the goodness of her coronary heart. A extra real looking clarification can be that she plans to pocket most, if not all, of the proceeds.

You possibly can proceed to press your cousin for a replica of the coverage. However don’t be shocked if you happen to’re met with a flurry of excuses and convoluted explanations. Even when your cousin does give you the doc, I wouldn’t assume it’s official. Contact the insurance coverage firm on to confirm the coverage. You possibly can present the loss of life certificates to the insurer immediately if it’s legit. The corporate can ship you any obligatory kinds.

In case your cousin received’t cooperate, you may search the Nationwide Affiliation of Insurance coverage Commissioners on-line life insurance coverage coverage locator. The group will ask taking part corporations to seek for insurance policies in your mom’s title. In the event that they find a coverage and also you’re the beneficiary, they’ll give you the small print. Your cousin doesn’t should be concerned. Even if you happen to’re not a beneficiary, you’d most likely be licensed to obtain this data as your mom’s subsequent of kin.

If you happen to consider your cousin had nefarious intentions, contemplate contacting your state insurance coverage commissioner. Some persons are hesitant to report members of the family to authorities. However if you happen to suspect your cousin scammed your mom, she might simply do the identical to others. Aged persons are particularly susceptible to being conned by folks they belief, like members of the family. On the very least, it is best to warn different members of the family if you happen to suppose that’s what occurred.

Your cousin most likely acquired figuring out details about your mom, like her Social Safety quantity, when she obtained the coverage. Sadly, deceased persons are liable to having fraudulent accounts opened of their names. A sensible transfer can be to contact every of the three credit score bureaus to allow them to know that your mom has died.

I’m sorry that it’s important to cope with all this on high of the lack of your mom. However you could have each proper to be suspicious right here. Don’t let anybody, particularly your cousin, let you know in any other case.

Robin Hartilll is an authorized monetary planner and a senior author at The BaghdadTime. Ship your tough cash inquiries to [email protected].

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