When someone passes away, it may affect the various insurance policies in place. Administering someone’s estate typically takes several months and often much longer for complicated estates. It is important to maintain the proper insurance during the probate process so that the beneficiaries can rightfully inherit undamaged, unfettered property.
The personal representative of the estate is responsible for keeping insurance premiums up to date. The homeowner’s insurance policy protects the home from damage as well as liability protection to cover accidents or injuries that occur on the premises. The insurance company must be notified of the death of the owner and premiums paid until such time the real estate vests with a beneficiary. The beneficiary will then be responsible for arranging for a new policy as the original policy will not be transferrable.
If the personal representative allows the policy to lapse and then there is a fire, theft or personal injury claim, he or she could end up personally liable for any losses.
It is also important to make sure any vehicles remain properly insured during the probate process. Even if the vehicles are not currently being driven, they are subject to damage or theft by remaining parked. Cars are assets of the estate and the personal representative cannot knowingly and willingly allow any assets to decrease in value.
Naturally, life insurance terminates on the day of death and no further premiums will be owed. The personal representative can also terminate any health and long-term care policies after the date of death. If you have questions about any type of insurance that may not be familiar to you, ask an experienced attorney for advice before terminating any policies.
For more information on estate administration issues in the Greater Baltimore area, please contact Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599.