Stepmother forged my name and cashed out my life insurance policy last august should i pursue legal action?
I discovered several months ago that my stepmother who has been married to my father for 35 years had forged my name to change the address and then cash out my two life insurance policies which my father had set up and paid the monthly premiums on for me. My father is 88 years old and developed Alzheimers a few years ago. Although he knows who everyone is, and can to acquaintances seems just fine, he has absolutely no short term memory anymore and is obviously no longer competent.My father and i are very close, i worked for him for many years and he often spoiled me and spent money on me. They are fairly well off, he still works part time earning about $300,000 annually and they own many income properties in Southern California and elsewhere, drive luxury vehicles, etc. He told me a long time ago that once he died not to expect too much financially so he wanted to help me out financially while he still could. My stepmother has always been upset when he spent money on me (although for her own 3 adult children it was never an issue.) I spoke briefly with an attorney and he said that since the policy was closed fraudlently, if i called the insurance company they would reinstate the insurance along with the policy cash values. I would dearly like to do that since it is the only nest egg i have now. (Once he got the alzheimers diagnosis his wife took over all financial matters and i have had no assistance for about 4 years, which is fine, i am an adult, but having a little money to fall back on would be so nice.) Also I have a ten year old son with major health concerns and if something happened to me I always planned on him having my death benefits. The main reason i haven't done anything yet is that my father is my insurance agent and i feel like the only thing that is keeping him in good spirits and state of mind is going to work daily- always said he'd work until the day he died. I'm afraid if i pursue action his office may be shut down when it comes to light that he is not mentally competent. (My stepmother had a temporary secretary give her the form and just filled it out signed it and faxed it in herself, according to my father's long term office manager who informed me of what had happened when she returned from a medical leave.) I don't know if i have the right to ruin any portion of the remainder of my father's life by potentially affecting his ability to go to work which he loves. Also i dread the flak from my family and am afraid my stepmother might try to prevent me from seeing him after that. On a side note, the office manager also mentioned that all the family assets were being funneled into the stepsiblings names and there would soon be nothing left of my fathers formerly fairly vast estate for his own 4 children. (My stepmother never worked a day since they've been married. And she has been a good wife for him and cares for him now, and i don't begrudge her her share, but i just don't see why only her kids should get everything he worked 50 years for.) Would i be wrong to try and get my policies and money back? Would she face any legal consequences that could prevent her from caring for my father? Should my siblings and i try and protect our rights in his estate? Any help, legal advice, etc appreciated.
- Best Answer
First of all, are you the policy OWNER? If not, they're not your policies. Only the policy OWNER can cash them out. If she had power of attorney, and your dad was the policy owner, this is perfectly legal.
Your attorney isn't quite correct - IF IF IF you are the policy owner, you can call the insurance company and discuss the situation with them. If you're only the "beneficiary", you cannot. To prove that the policy was cancelled fraudulently, you have to actually file criminal charges against your stepmother. You can do that - if you are, indeed, the owner of the policy.
It's not quite as simple as "reinstating insurance and cash values". You'd ALSO have to keep paying the PREMIUMS, and pay the back premiums due. Which, of course, you can only do if you are the policy OWNER.
The issue affecting his life, would be you having his wife thrown in jail for forgery. It's probably also an issue, that you don't have any nest egg of your own.
Keep in mind, it's completely normal, for wives to NOT have to work, when their husbands can support them. This woman - whom you clearly have very unkind feelings for - has been a loving wife to your dad for 35 years, so it's not like she's some golddigger. Additionally, it seems that you fail to realize that her "share" is 100%. She's the WIFE.
You have no RIGHTS to his estate. His wife, who's supported him the past THIRTY FIVE years, has helped him build THEIR estate. Not his. THEIRS.
So. I suspect that you are NOT the policy owner, stepmom has done NOTHING illegal, and that you're mainly upset about seeing your extra income stream drying up in the near future. Dad has NOT been doing you a favor all these years, funneling you money. You need to grow up, and be responsible for your OWN family. It's time to stop depending on daddy to support you.
Or, file criminal charges against stepmom. IF you are, indeed, the policy owner. It would be VERY easy to prove, because YOU would have all the statements and billings on the policy, with YOUR name at the very top of it.
- LynneeLv 44 years ago
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- magicbirdLv 69 years ago
I'm sorry for the situation you're in. I saw the same thing happen to 2 of my closest friends, whose mothers died and their fathers remarried. And here's what I can tell you because I personally knew the fathers of these friends, and I also know as a parent what I would absolutely unconditionally want for my children.
Parents ALWAYS want the best interests of their own biological children first. PERIOD. Second wives of widowed fathers, the ones I've heard about, the ones my friends have had to endure, always want the money to go to themselves and their own children. And the second wife will absolutely make it happen if she can.
So absolutely get yourself a lawyer. Your father never wanted you, his own beloved children, to be denied your inheritance, and your father would be angry if he could understand what's happening. So don't let it happen! Stand up for what's right. Get a lawyer--make sure it's one who is familiar with these situations--and don't let your mother-in-law take over your father's money because she WILL do so if she can, and she WILL pass the money down to her own children if she can. If the office manager told you that the money is being funneled to her side of the family? Well, it's obvious the office manager is concerned for you, given he told you this, so DO something about it--that's the whole reason the office manager told you this, because he knows it's not right! And I can't tell from your posting for sure but it sounds like your father, if he's still working, might be cognizant enough to be told the truth and act on your behalf (and he would want to). But don't wait another day. ACT ON IT NOW.
There's a lot more I could tell you about this--I know a lot about it--so if you have any further concerns or questions please feel free to email me through Yahoo.
My heart is with you. DON"T let her do this to you! DON'T! It's the LAST thing your father wants you to let happen! Do it to protect your father's wishes and his life-long desires for his biological children, do this for YOUR FATHER! Good luck to you.Source(s): I'm a parent of adult children myself. My greatest desire is that I can leave my children some of our hard-earned money to help them out in life. Don't let ANYone keep your loving father from leaving his hard-earned money to you! You owe it to your Dad to make sure his wishes, his real wishes, are honored.
- Just MeLv 59 years ago
Since you stated your Step-Mother forged your name, it's obvious, you are the owner of the policies. Only the owner can sign to cash out a policy.
Now, what do you do? If you want it completely straightened out, you'll need to contact the company directly and explain exactly what happened. They will conduct an investigation. Your father may have to pay through his errors and ommissions insurance or the company may just decide to eat the whole thing. You'll owe the back premiums to reinstate it and the company could decide to turn this over to the National Crime Bureau and your Step-Mother could be prosecuted.
If it were me, I would meet with the Step-Mother, inform her of my options and let her know she has the option to notify the company herself or you will.Source(s): Owner of an insurance and financial services agency. Former life and health underwriter and over 22 years experience.
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You could've asked that question with two sentences (we didn't need to know how much money your father makes, whether your stepmother liked you, etc...). Call the insurance company and inquire about your insurance policy. If you owned it and she forged your name then you pursue legal action. If you didn't own it, then you have no legal claim on the policy anyway if you were just the insured.
- Tom ZLv 79 years ago
You say they are "my policies" however I am betting, based on your description, that they are not your policies but in reality are your father's policies. Your father was the owner of the policies and as such controls the policies. Because you, yourself, state he is "obviously no longer competent" it would be perfectly logical and legal for his spouse of 35 years to assume control of the family finances.
There is no way that you will "get my policies and money back". They were never yours to begin with.Source(s): ...
- Anonymous9 years ago
Talk to your step mom and dad together. Make sure he knows, even though he can forget. Maybe you can get the problem resolved. Good luck
- You Asked!Lv 59 years ago
If you are sure she forged your name, definitely pursue legal action. Period.