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By: Scott Grossman on January 24th, 2018

The Value of Insurance Policies in California Probate


The Grossman Law Firm, APC · · (951) 523-8307

When the administrator or executor of a California estate starts looking at the decedent’s insurance policies in probate, it may not be immediately clear what needs to be done. Because there are various things to look for when analyzing the decedent’s insurance policy in probate, we have complied an article with the top 4 things you should keep in mind.

What to Look for when Analyzing Insurance Policies in Probate: 

First of all, each policy will have to be carefully analyzed to determine who owned it. Was the ownership separate or in community? If the insurance premiums were paid with community funds, then the policy may be community property. The estate’s representative may have to write the insurance company to obtain confirmation of the names of the owners.

The second step when looking at insurance policies in probate is to find out what the policy covers. Is it insurance on the life of the decedent? In this case the policy may have a substantial value that will be distributed to a named beneficiary (outside the probate process) or to heirs or beneficiaries.

Also, if an insurance policy covers the life of someone other than the decedent, this would be considered an asset of the decedent’s estate.It’s cash value will have to be included in the decedent’s estate.

Furthermore, keep in mind that the cash value of a life insurance policy is not the same as its face value. The cash value is usually based on the total amount of the premiums that have been paid by the subscriber since the contract was made. The insurance company will issue a Life Insurance Statement to confirm the cash value of the policy.

Also, talk to San Diego probate attorney Scott Grossman about any questions you might have about insurance policies in probate. Call our lawyers at (888) 443-6590 or (888) 443-6590 for your FREE 30-minute telephone consultation. Finally, order our FREE book The Insider’s Guide to California Probate and Trust Administration.