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Posted on Friday, June 5th, 2015 by Peter Klenk

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother is incapacitated and living in an assisted living facility in Atlantic County, New Jersey. She appointed my brother Agent under her Power of Attorney. My mother has a life insurance policy that names me as beneficiary. My brother refuses to make the payment, so the policy will soon lapse. Can I make the payment?

The insurance company does not care who sends the check. Therefore, you certainly can make the payment.

The real question you should be asking here is: should you make the payment?

If the policy is a term policy, you should consider when the policy lapses. If the term policy only has one or two years remaining and your mother is in good health despite being incapacitated, then your payments might be lost, as the policy may lapse before her death.

If the policy is some type of permanent insurance, and if your mother will some day move into a facility and apply for Medicaid, the state may require that she take the cash value of the policy out to pay her bills. If so, the cash value might be lost. There are many options available in this situation, and many potential outcomes. Our attorneys have dealt with the countless permutations of this situation.

This is the perfect example of a scenario where there’s no cookie cutter solution, and a free consultation from an experienced estate planning attorney can help you run some numbers and think about the outcomes that would make the most sense for your family.

If you have questions about Estate Planning in Atlantic County, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.

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