Can my family take the life insurance my grandmother has on my grandfather and use it to bury him against her will?
My grandfather is currently in the hospital with COVID-19 and severe heart issues, and the doctors don't expect him to live for much longer. He is New York, and currently, there are not enough places for people to be buried, and they are cremating the bodies unless they can be shipped out of New York. My grandfather preferred to be buried in Alabama anyways, so my family would like to ship his body there. My grandmother is the only one who has a life insurance policy on my grandfather, and she refuses to use the money to ship his body to Alabama so that he will not be cremated. My grandmother and grandfather are divorced, and I'm not sure if the life insurance company will even honor the policy despite the fact that she still makes payments. No life insurance policies will take my grandfather now, and my family doesn't have enough money to have his body shipped out of New York. Is there anyway that we could force my grandmother to use the policy money to have him shipped to and buried in Alabama if he passes away? Thank you in advance for any helpful advice.
If not, is there anything we can do to avoid his body from being cremated?
- Nuff SedLv 72 months ago
Insurance payout belongs to the beneficiary. It's a legal contract and not part of the dead person's estate unless it also happens to be "payable to the estate".
That said, grandma, being his ex, probably has no legal say over what happens to his dead body. You can have it move wherever you like, and may even be able to finance the cost, if you cannot immediately pay.
You simply contract a funeral director with a license recognized in NY to go pick him up, when the time comes.
If his body is unclaimed, it may be buried in a mass grave somewhere (such as Hart Island). In theory, you can later claim the body and move it somewhere else.
- Christin KLv 72 months ago
If she is the owner of that policy there is absolutely nothing you can do to get it from her short of stealing it AND her identity. (In other words, there is nothing you can do.) SHE pays the premiums and SHE gets the payout. Period. All she will need is a copy of the death certificate to get that payout, and death certificates are public records.
As for your grandpa's body, since they are divorced, it is unlikely that she will have any say over what happens to it--unless he specifies in his legal will that she is the one who has that authority. Generally, the ex-spouse of a deceased person is not the one who gets to decide--the living next of kin do in this order: First is his current wife, if there is one. After that, it's his children. If they don't decide, then his siblings do.
Grandchildren are not usually considered for this type of decision unless there are no other living next-of-kin who will assume the responsibility for it.
If your grandpa does get cremated, there is nothing that says you can't take his ashes and bury those in Alabama. I did this with my father when he passed away--he was cremated, but we used his military burial plot that he'd had for years, and buried him there with a headstone. And the nice thing about this is that you can wait a long time until you have the money for a burial plot and headstone in Alabama--you don't have to do it right away. At any time after his cremation, you can take those ashes and do whatever you feel is right with them, with or without your grandma's approval. She will have no legal right to say or do anything.
I'm sorry for your loss.
- babyboomer1001Lv 72 months ago
Life insurance is for the living expenses of the person named as the beneficiary. As an ex-wife, she is NOT under any obligation to pay for any expenses of her ex for burial, shipping or anything else. It's her money free and clear. It is the family's obligation to bury/cremate the deceased and if you want his body shipped to Alabama, that's on you. First, any "current" wife and secondly, the children. If you are all dirt poor, then you don't get to choose. Bodies with covid have to be handled very carefully. The state of New York will decide what to do with it. You can ask what they do, to find out but unless you have money to handle it differently, in a way that is approved by the state, for covid cases, it will be handled like any other infectious disease, and the handling will be out of your control. If they will allow cremation, pay for it. They can't cremate all of the covid bodies. A crematorium can only handle one body at a time and there are far too many deaths for cremation.
- StephenWeinsteinLv 72 months ago
No. The money will be hers, just like any other money of hers. If you want something done that costs money, use your own money.
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- e9601:Lv 62 months ago
You need to consult a lawyer about this matter. Better now then later.
- fcas80Lv 72 months ago
The life insurance money belongs to the grandmother who can do whatever she wants with it.
Because they are divorced, the grandmother is probably by law no longer next of kin, and she has no rights on how to handle cremation versus burial.
Does your grandfather have a will, and what does the will say about burial?
It would be wise to consult a lawyer.
- car253Lv 72 months ago
Well, everyone here missed something. It does not matter WHO is paying the policy. The payer has no rights. The BENEFICIARY is the only person that counts. The beneficiary gets the money. The beneficiary can do whatever they want with the money and spending the money any way they want. There is nothing anyone can do. The beneficiary has full rights to the money. And, I bet you don't know if the beneficiary is your grandma or not. Good chance they do not know who the beneficiary is either. People forget after many years and never check.
Your grandparents being divorced means nothing as along as a beneficiary, a real person, is named the beneficiary. You will have more problems if the beneficiary is named the "estate". Hopefully not. If your grandfather is still in is right mind he can change the beneficiary to someone else that he knows will fulfil his wish of being burried in Alabama, and ONLY if he is the owner on the policy. Only the owner of the policy can make any beneficiary changes. And, your grandma just because she pays does NOT mean she owns the policy. And, I bet no one knows who owns the policy. If he is not in his right mind, then it is too late for him to change the beneficiary.
I would call the insurance agent or company now and start asking some questions to try to avoid problems later. I hope you know which life insurance company has the policy. Very important to find out now. It may be impossible to find out later.
Please post more question or pm me.Source(s): Insurance Agent
- JudyLv 72 months ago
- TavyLv 72 months ago
As your Grandmother is making payments she has the last say, no one can force her to do anything. lets be sensible now, When he dies the hospital is not going to leave him in a mortuary for weeks or maybe months until this crisis is over. No one is going to ship him anywhere so he will have to be cremated. You can ask to have his ashes and take them to Alabama when life returns to normal.
- mokrieLv 72 months ago
No, if the policy is hers there is nothing you can do to get the money. It's going to be hers. Period.