LIFE INSURANCE

What is it?

Sometimes known as life assurance, it is generally a contract (“policy”) between an insurance company (“insurer”) and a person who becomes the owner of the policy.  The person who applies for the policy is the applicant, who is generally the person whose life (“insured”) is being insured.  The one who owns the policy is the owner.  The person or persons who receive the benefit of the policy (proceeds), after the death of the insured is/are the beneficiary/ies.  The insurer promises to pay the beneficiary a sum of money (the benefit) in exchange for payment of money (the premium/s), upon the death of the insured person.

How to Obtain Proceeds?

To obtain proceeds of a policy after the insured had died, a qualified person has to submit a claim to the insurer.  A death certificate must be submitted with the claim.  Obtaining a death certificate for an Arizona decedent is not easy.  Arizona is a “closed” state, which means that the Arizona governmental agency responsible for death certificates does not hand them out to anyone who asks.  You must meet certain qualifications before a death certificate will be furnished to you.  Sometimes it is a complicated, difficult and time-consuming process to obtain a death certificate.  We know how to navigate the waters and obtain a death certificate for a qualified person.

How Does the Policy Affect Probate in Arizona?

Probate is the legal process to transfer ownership of the assets owned by the person who died (“decedent”).  Some assets of the decedent are transferred through a process known as a non-probate transfer.  Proceeds of a policy insuring the life of a decedent do not pass (transfer) through probate; instead they pass through a non-probate transfer. Arizona  death attorney

May Creditors of the Decedent Obtain Proceeds?

Arizona has laws which affect (and limit) the ability, of a creditor of the decedent, to obtain policy proceeds.  To determine whether a creditor may reach (obtain) policy proceeds,  a number of facts must first be known.

Why Hire GoodmanLaw?

We have experience with life insurance, probate, and death issues. Mr. Goodman, graduated first in his law school class (summa cum laude)  and served as an editor on his law school’s Law Review.  He has 40 years’ experience.  Mr. Goodman has been a fellow of the Arizona Bar Foundation (now, Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education) for decades, having received Letters attesting to “outstanding skills, contributions to the profession and devotion to public service.”  He is also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  The Fellows is an “honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession.  Membership in the Fellows is limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Members are nominated by their peers and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation.”

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