Must I wait for funeral home to sign their forms?

Q: My Aunt passed away in January. Her husband passed many years ago. She gave me keys to her home. Years later she had me sign a paper making me a beneficiary on her insurance. 5 yrs ago I noticed signs of dementia. My cousin also spoke regularly with my aunt and worked for a wealthy family and went to prison for embezzlement. She married the son of a funeral home owner, that was accused of stealing from clients. He moved his family to the south. When my cousin got out she joined him. After his father passed they relocated back here and he took over. I used my aunts key 1 time when my daughter and I went in to clean up after her dog and bathroom before she came home from the hospital. My cousin manipulated her and accused me of stealing papers from the house. I had helped my aunt with a bankruptcy and didn’t need to steal. They disposed of everything she owned and put her in a nursing home where I would visit her. After she passed they called me to say I need to come sign papers to get a check. I told them I needed a lawyer to look at them. They didn’t look right so I called the insurance co, filled out the claim form, and no assignment papers. I asked for a check to me. (Valencia, PA)

A: What is the question? If in fact you are the beneficiary of an active insurance policy, generally, all you need to do is fill out their claim form and any other forms they want such as a death certificate and copy of your ID. You should then receive a check. I have no idea why the insurance company wanted you to come in. Perhaps they want you to sign the insurance proceeds over to them to pay for the funeral. If the policy is payable to you only, you have no obligation to do so. If your aunt assigned the policy to the funeral home, that is another matter. PA does have a filial law statute whereby certain next of kin are obligated to pay for medical debt of the indigent but let them explain how that applies to you.

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