If a spouse dies and leave insurance money to her husband of 32 years can the step children make the step father give them some of the insurance money?
Who ever is listed as the beneficiary has the only rights to the percents indicated on the beneficiary sheet.
If her husband is listed as the primary beneficiary of 100% of the funds, then it's his. (Secondary beneficiaries receive nothing if the primary is alive to receive the funds.)
If the primary beneficiaries indicate child A gets 30%, child B gets 30% and husband gets 40%, then it has to go to the beneficiaries as directed.
Request a copy of the beneficiary sheet to see who gets what. And ask the agent or company who sold the mother the policy to explain it further if you need more information.
Sorry for your loss. Please note, this is not legal advice.
2 possible ways:
- The husband is not a beneficiary on the insurance. Then the payout belongs to the dead mother, is part of her inheritance and laws apply.
- The husband is named beneficiary. Then it was not the mothers money to start with, so nothing can be claimed back. And yes, you can name a 3rd party as beneficiary. Legally this is NOT an inheritance. If the payment into the life insurance where substantial, THAT would count as a donation and depending how many years back it happened it MAY be claimed back into the inheritance. This laws generally exist to avoid someone donating all his posessions on the death bed and leaving the heirs without anything. Statue of limitations apply, i.e. you may not be able to claim back a one off insurance payment done 15 years ago.
The answer is "probably yes", but you have to investigate local law. Some countries, plus Louisiana, have a legal concept of "forced heirship", where some part of the estate must go to descendants in a legally specified way. Norway has such laws; then it depends on whether there is or is not a will, and the spouse vs. children division gets complicated, but the main principle is that you cannot disinherit a spouse or children. However... there is a separate provision under part B of the insurance contract act to the effect that the benefit is not automatically "part of the estate", so you can specify a beneficiary, and that specification controls who receives the benefit. The closest one gets to forced heirship w.r.t. insurance benefits is that
If it seems clearly unfair towards a spouse or an heir of the body for whom the policyholder provided or was under duty to provide, and who would otherwise have been entitled to the sum insured under section 15-1, that a beneficiary should receive the sum, the person provided for may request that the sum insured be paid wholly or in part to him or her. In the decision on this emphasis shall be given to the motive for the appointment, the needs of the person provided for and the beneficiary, and whether the person provided for had been given notice of the appointment in reasonable time before the death.
If you are in Norway, are highly dependent on your mother's support, and giving the insurance benefit entirely to her spouse would leave you is financial straights, there could be a case for forced redistribution of the benefit.