Why is my deceased spouse or parent named on my hurricane insurance check?
In the wake of Hurricane Ida, we’ve continued to receive a high volume of calls from clients who received insurance checks that weren’t accurate. In last week’s blog post, we discussed what to do in the case of a bank/lender being incorrectly listed on a hurricane check. This week, we discuss what to do if you receive a check with a deceased spouse or parent listed as a payee.
In this situation, you may wonder why your deceased family member is listed on your insurance check and how you can correct the problem when you can no longer deposit a check made out in their name.
This occurs when a succession has not been completed, and the deceased spouse or parent is still listed as an owner of the property and an insured. The public records still reflect that person or their estate as the owner and are entitled to a portion of the proceeds. To fix this, a succession must be opened.
There are two avenues for handling the succession:
- An administration of the succession is opened, and an executor/administrator is appointed to handle the estate. This allows the administrator to open an estate account and deposit the check into the account, then use the money to repair the decedent’s asset.
- Filing a petition for possession without administration. This places the heirs or legatees of the decedent in actual possession of the property. Upon providing proof to the insurer that the heirs or legatees now own the property, the proceeds should be made out to that person. Before going this route, it is essential to check with the insurance company to ensure they will acknowledge the new ownership and subsequently pay the new owners. Some insurance companies will state that since the loss occurred prior to the succession, they must make the check payable to the estate. In that circumstance, the administration of the estate would be the more appropriate route to pursue.
If you’re in need of assistance, our in-house law firm can assist and promptly expedite the handling of your succession to get you back on track with your home repairs. Contact us today to learn more.