Contesting life insurance beneficiary: Can it be done?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 11/04/2007 - 13:17

My brothers 19 year old son just got killed in an auto accident. We think he had his 19 year old girlfriend ( that he planned to marry someday)as beneficiary on life ins. through his company. Can his parents think of contesting life insurance beneficiary and what are their chances?

Posted: 05 Nov 2007 07:23 Post Subject:

Hi decoup, I have searched for some early discussions for your question about contesting life insurance beneficiary these days. See if they help.

http://www.ampminsure.org/manage/about3097.html
http://www.ampminsure.org/manage/about2500.html

For any further query, pls let us know.

Regards,
Juanita

Posted: 05 Nov 2007 09:17 Post Subject:

We think he had his 19 year old girlfriend as beneficiary on life ins



First get certain about that.

Next, find out whether she is the primary beneficiary or the secondary beneficiary. If she was named as the primary beneficiary then contesting that will be a difficult task. Remember, that the policy holder is free to name anyone to receive his policy benefits. Contesting life insurance beneficiary might imply that you are actually acting against the desire of the deceased.

Anyways, if you still wish to contest, inform his career and his employer immediately about the dispute. And, pls, keep us update with the developments.

Rupert

Posted: 05 Nov 2007 09:29 Post Subject:

If she was named as the primary beneficiary then contesting that will be a difficult task.



Agreed. But one thing to keep in mind, that she didn't share any direct relation with the boy. I mean, she wasn't his spouse. Under normal circumstances, policy benefits of the policy holder go to his wife and children and under such circumstances contesting life insurance beneficiary becomes difficult. But in this case, the parents may stand a chance if they challenge the beneficiary at the court of law. However, you may like to consult an attorney to get a clear view in this regard.

Posted: 05 Nov 2007 09:56 Post Subject:

First, so very sorry to hear of the loss of your nephew, so young, I'm so sorry.

Was the girl living with the young man? Had they 'set up housekeeping' together, or was he still living with his parents?

This might sound alittle harsh, but IF the girl is his beneficiary, (and only one policy let's assume), is there a way to make her responsible for the costs of his burial, rather than his poor parents? Hopefully another with life insurance experience can help with that. If she is to keep it, (ins proceedings), can the funeral home let's say put a lein against that policy?


Good luck, and so sorry for your terrible loss.

Posted: 05 Nov 2007 01:28 Post Subject: beneficiary of nephew

He was not living with her...he lived at home. We think she talked him in to putting her down as beneficiary. They had not even set a date to get married....now the parents are responsible for the burial expenses. We will find out today for sure the situation. He has 2 policies, one his employer carries free of charge. Surely it would go to the parents? Thanks for your input regarding contesting life insurance beneficiary in this regard.

Posted: 05 Nov 2007 01:46 Post Subject:

He was not living with her...he lived at home. We think she talked him in to putting her down as beneficiary. They had not even set a date to get married....

Contesting life insurance beneficiary is not a big deal! Please make sure his parents contact the insuring company (work policy) and tell them there is a dispute!!! So they don't pay her, I know she will need certified death certificates, and those won't be ready (usually) for a while, and cost as well, you generally order the number you will need while making funeral arrangements. I would ask the funeral director if any way, to file a lein against his work policy...

There are others with a lot of experience with life policys that I'm sure will weigh in on this, (I'm a property and casualty adjuster), I only have 'practical' experience with life policys.


He has 2 policies, one his employer carries free of charge.

Where is the 'other' policy? And who is bene. on that one?

Surely it would go to the parents?

If he is unmarried and no children, then his parent, and siblings would be the logical 'next in line' re: his estate. However, if he named her beneficiary, there may be a fight, but one I think they may be able to win....How long have they been 'together'?, Was there a formal engagement announcement? How do the folks get along with her, will she (if allowed to collect) help pay atleast half of his expenses from these proceeds?

Don't forget too to be sure and look to his auto policy for any coverages there, I don't know the facts of the loss, but if he has med pay in some states (mine) 'certain' funeral expenses can be paid under that coverage as well. Also (dependent upon the facts of loss) there could be other coverages under the auto policy to help...

Please keep us updated, and we will do all we can to assist your dear brother's family in this awful time.... First though PLEASE make sure someone contacts that ins. carrier (at work) and tell them IF she is a beneficiary there WILL be a dispute!

Posted: 07 Nov 2007 02:19 Post Subject:

FYI: The Insurable Interest provision (the rule which stated that the beneficiary must have an insurable interest on the life of the insured in order to be named beneficiary) was done away with 1991. This was done because gay couples, who named their significant other as their beneficiary, were having similar conflicts with the families of the deceased. In a ruling upheld by the 16th District Court, I believe, policyowners were given the right to name anyone they wish as beneficiary. Even if they pulled someone at random off the street, the insurance companies must honor their selection. Remember that a life insurance policy is first-and-foremost, a binding legal contract.
You will probably find that the insurance company will do exactly what they are required to do by law and issue a check to the named beneficiary. This way they avoid any legal repercussions. You should have all the vital information at your finger tips while contesting life insurance beneficiary under such circumstances.

Posted: 08 Nov 2007 08:48 Post Subject: Beneficiary Contest

Unfortunately, the "insurable interest" provision in a life insurance policy only applys to the person or entity purchasing the life insurance.

Obviously we have an "insurable interest" in our own life, so we can buy as much life insurance as we want and can afford.
Some states recognize that "Engaged Couples" have an insurable interest in each other, some states do not.

Did your nephew buy the life insurance policy or did the girlfriend? Who is the policyowner?

Was the girlfriend the original beneficiary at the time the life insurance was first purchased or was it changed later?

InsInvestigator is absolutely correct, a person can name anyone as beneficiary and the insurance company must abide by that beneficiary election.

The only way I can see to possibly void the policy is if the person originally buying the policy did not have an insurable interest in your nephew's life. That's all I can say when it comes to contesting life insurance beneficiary like in your case.

Posted: 09 Nov 2007 02:54 Post Subject:

Even though the odds are against you legally, I would definitely move the court at contesting life insurance beneficiary at this stage. It is better to at least try and get a no rather than to sit back and let her collect a big fat check and ride off into the sunset.

Posted: 09 Nov 2007 10:43 Post Subject:

I agree 100% knig188, although the odds aren't good, better to fight and lose, than to not even try.

Posted: 26 Jan 2008 07:45 Post Subject: my regards

I am going through the same thing my son committed suicide over his x and she stands to get over 400,000 life ins.

Posted: 26 Jan 2008 01:26 Post Subject:

I'm so sorry bobbie

Posted: 28 Jan 2008 08:36 Post Subject:

Sorry for both of your loses, hopefully you all will get these monetary issues out of the way so that you may properly grieve your lose. I am sorry that this has happen to both of you.

Posted: 03 Aug 2009 12:07 Post Subject: Contested Beneficiary

I took care of my sister for 4 years while she was ungoing treatments for cancer> She left me her only beneificary. Her son is thinking about contesting it. Can he do this

Posted: 03 Aug 2009 12:30 Post Subject:

Her son is thinking about contesting it. Can he do this

Yes, he can contest it but it's very very very doubtful he will be successful..

so sorry about the loss of your sister.

Posted: 14 Oct 2009 11:13 Post Subject: Living Trust

My father always favored my sister and assigned his beneficary to her as well as my mother's life Insurance. Everything is in the Living Trust that splits the estate 70% and the rest of the 30% goes to me. I was told the life Insurance goes to the Benerficary 100%. What kind of crap is this? This is greedy!

Posted: 15 Oct 2009 10:40 Post Subject:

If the trust lists how the life insurance is to be paid (in your case 70/30) then it will be..if it's not listed in the trust, then no the good sister doesn't have to pay you your 30%---for whatever reason your parents aren't comfortable making sure you get half of their assets, you'd have a better understanding why...But given the situation, sounds you ought to be happy you got anything

Posted: 15 Oct 2009 12:15 Post Subject:

I was told the life Insurance goes to the Benerficary 100%.



Yes if it is so mentioned and if there is only one beneficiary or a primary and a secondary beneficiary. Since this policy is through a trust, if the trust lists a 70/30 disbursal, it will be that way unless any changes be made (which usually cannot be made I believe).

Posted: 21 Oct 2009 09:35 Post Subject:

My father always favored my sister and assigned his beneficary to her as well as my mother's life Insurance. Everything is in the Living Trust that splits the estate 70% and the rest of the 30% goes to me. I was told the life Insurance goes to the Benerficary 100%. What kind of crap is this? This is greedy!



Don't you mean, "I am greedy." Maybe your dad thought that you cared about his money while your sister cared about him.

If the insurance is owned by the Living Trust, but has your sister as sole beneficiary of the insurance, she'll get 100% of the life insurance. Everything else will get split 70/30.

Posted: 16 Nov 2009 09:28 Post Subject:

Dear Andrea, yes he can contest it, but if he does, he will lose.

Posted: 18 Nov 2009 09:23 Post Subject:

bobbie, thats a terrible situation - my heart goes out to you. Do most life insurance policies pay out on suicide i thought this was a fairly common exclusion?

Posted: 19 Nov 2009 12:06 Post Subject:

Do most life insurance policies pay out on suicide i thought this was a fairly common exclusion?


Most policys here, Hedrik, say that if suicide is commited within first year or two it's excluded or if the policy was purchased with the intent of commiting suicide it's excluded which of course would be hard to prove unless it's very early in the policy period.

Posted: 19 Nov 2009 09:04 Post Subject:

yes, it's the 1-2 year exclusion I was thinking of....

In Bobbies situation this would seem to be very relevant informatio - could immediately put the kaibosh on a claim.

Bobbie, do you know how long before his passing the policy was taken out?

Posted: 21 Nov 2009 06:40 Post Subject:

My father always favored my sister and assigned his beneficary to her as well as my mother's life Insurance. Everything is in the Living Trust that splits the estate 70% and the rest of the 30% goes to me. I was told the life Insurance goes to the Benerficary 100%. What kind of crap is this? This is greedy!



Life insurance cannot be held in a living trust. A living trust (inter-vivos trust) is an estate planning tool and is a revocable instrument. The purpose of a living trust it primarily to escape probate costs.

As well, the beneficiary designations within a life insurance policy are pretty much set in stone and cannot be overturned by a will, trust instrument or most any other legal means including litigation.

InsTeacher 8)

Posted: 30 Nov 2009 07:30 Post Subject:

"Under normal circumstances, policy benefits of the policy holder go to his wife and children and contesting that becomes difficult." Absolutely NOT TRUE if the discussion is life insurance proceeds!

There is no such thing as "normal circumstances" unless there is no named beneficiary, in which case the money legally goes only to the estate of the decedent, where it is up for grabs by creditors first. If anything is left after that, the family can (and usually does) fight over it.

Lori . . . as moderator of the forum . . . I notice that you offer a lot of poor advice. What is your professional background in insurance?

Knig188 says "Even though the odds are against you legally, I would definitely contest it. It is better to at least try . . . ." and you reply, "I agree 100% knig188, although the odds aren't good, better to fight and lose, than to not even try." Knig188 is either ill-informed or a lawyer.

To both of you, I simply say, don't waste your time and effort unless you can prove that the auto accident was caused by the girlfriend in order to collect on the death benefit (it wouldn't be a first). Whether she exerted any influence over his decision to name her as his beneficiary is immaterial, because only in the absence of proof of the 19-year-old's mental deficiency (which no one has mentioned yet) would a court even begin to try a case like this.

This is an instance where the beneficiary is the beneficiary is the beneficiary. He could just as easily have named his dog or goldfish as the beneficiary, and there would still be little a court might do about it.

So, please, stop offering advice from a position of sentiment or emotion. As others have pointed out, insurance is a contract. Address your replies from the perspective of contract law. The same as a court would be forced to apply in its decision.

Sound cold or callous? Perhaps, but it's the truth. Lots of good-hearted folks transfer their hard-earned money to lawyers who give false hope of collecting on highly emotional incidents such as the death of a loved one. Everyone but the lawyers lose in terms of money and additional emotional trauma.

This is certainly a dreadful event -- children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around. So let's not inflict any more trauma with bad advice such as "it's better to fight and lose . . . ." It is not better, at least not in this instance.

Posted: 30 Nov 2009 07:47 Post Subject:

Just noticed heidrek's Nov 18 post. Suicide in most states is only an exclusion in the first two years of a new policy (in Colorado, for example, it is only one year, by law). After two years, the insurer must pay for death by suicide. The inclusion of language in the contract such as "while sane or insane" has no effect. In fact, Colorado insurance law explains that suicide committed by an insane person is an "accident" and cannot be the basis for a claims denial for death under an accidental death benefit provision of life or disability policy.

Posted: 30 Nov 2009 08:05 Post Subject:

There is no such thing as "normal circumstances" unless there is no named beneficiary, in which case the money legally goes only to the estate of the decedent, where it is up for grabs by creditors first. If anything is left after that, the family can (and usually does) fight over it.



Look at some policies. Many have "default" beneficiaries, and the default beneficiary is not necessarily the estate.

Posted: 01 Dec 2009 05:43 Post Subject:

Andrea . . .

This is America, the land of the free, home of the brave, and domicile of idiots who find lawyers willing to cause a stir even when there is no chance of prevailing. Not that your nephew is an idiot.

Anyone can contest anything, but the insurance company is bound by its contract with your sister, which became an obligation to you following her death, to pay the proceeds to the named beneficiary.

Have you filed the death claim and received the check? If you did, it most certainly came in your name, and it's your money to do with as you please.

Can someone make a civil court case out of it? Yes, anything is possible, but in the absence of any showing of duress exerted by you on your sister to name you as the beneficiary, or your sister's mental deficiency at the time of beneficiary designation, the claim will go nowhere. Do you have any idea how long ago you were named the beneficiary? If it predates her illness/diagnosis by even one day, you are on even firmer ground. The longer into the past it occurred, the more secure is your position.

Depending on the amount of money you received, you might consider a token offering to your nephew. You can give up to $13,000 as a tax-free gift this year and again in 2010. Perhaps something along those lines would satisfy him. Was he "estranged" from his mother, or were they close? Makes a big difference, too.

Posted: 01 Dec 2009 05:49 Post Subject:

Afareve . . .

Please post just one example of what you are talking about! You are entirely wrong!! No insurance company is going to put itself at risk by declaring who the beneficiary is "by default." I can post dozens of example that all follow probate law common to all states: in the absence of a named beneficiary, the death proceeds will be paid to the estate of the policy owner (the insured in over 95% of all individual policies).

There is an entirely different rule for group insurance known as "per stirpes" which follows state probate law in the sense that the nearest blood relative may be presumed to be a beneficiary in the absence of a named beneficiary. This is so because many employees do not know they have the right to name a beneficiary, and the assumption under the law is that they would name their next of kin, which is not their spouse under "per stirpes."

Posted: 01 Dec 2009 12:22 Post Subject:

MaxHerr, We've been down this road before. You are wrong. Look at a bunch of insurance applications. Many of them will say exactly what will happen if there is no living named beneficiary.

The insurance company isn't just declaring who will be beneficiary. It is part of the contract and the contract language has been approved by the state.

How can they automatically pay to the estate of the policy owner? If the policy owner is not the insured, and he is still alive, he has no estate!

Look at, for example, a Mass Mutual contract. It will explicitly tell you that if no named beneficiary is alive, the money will get paid to the policy owner if the policy owner is alive and to the policy owner's estate if the policy owner is dead.

Ex. We were business partners. I bought a policy on your life. The business breaks up. We're still friends, and we simply change the beneficiary to your wife. She dies. 6 months later you die. The death benefit will be paid to me.

Other contracts will list the order if there is no living beneficiary (spouse, children, parents, etc.)

Probate law has nothing to do with any of this. Probate only comes into play IF the money gets paid to the estate.

You can't point to any law that forbids the use of default beneficiaries. I can point to insurance contracts that have default beneficiaries.

I hope that you aren't one of those posters who can't admit when they are wrong.

Posted: 01 Dec 2009 01:50 Post Subject:

oh geeeeeeeze here we go again...Max are you any kin to Gary by chance? :wink: Just kiddin' there bud...It's very dangerous (IMO) to ever say things like, 'all' 'every' etc...

Posted: 01 Dec 2009 06:09 Post Subject:

OK, OK, "sajfqaioru," maybe I misspoke when I wrote "owner's estate" (but life insurance creates an "immediate estate," so technically, it is going to the owner's estate . . . it's really just a matter of semantics). I think we're both on the same side here.

The discussion started or diverted based on a comment that leads me to believe someone thinks insurance companies deliberately try to confiscate a beneficiary's interest, which is not true, through the use of "default" beneficiaries.

I've never seen an individual life contract that specifies anyone other than the owner (or their estate) as the person who receives the death benefit if there is no named beneficiary. (Industrial and group policies have somewhat different "per stirpes" language).

If you don't believe that life insurance is connected to probate law, that a mistake. The language used in most contracts conforms precisely to it so that the contract may escape the hold of the probate court when an insured dies intestate. It's not the insurance company "choosing" a default beneficiary, it is the insurance company following the guidelines of probate and property law.

If the owner is not the insured, and the owner has not named a beneficiary, property rights (interest in the policy) endure to the owner, not because the insurance company came up with the idea, but because it's a settled matter of law. Why do you think ownership passes from the deceased owner to the insured if the owner dies without previously assigning the policy to a new owner (which cannot be done testamentarily through a will or trust)? Because the insured is the only other "party" named in the contract. I guess you could call that the "default owner" provision folr consistency.

Having said this, I am absolutely in full agreement with everything you wrote. Nothing is incorrect except implying that the insurer's wording in the contract is its own independent design rather than being guided by other laws external to the contract.

Your business partner Buy-Sell example is fine, except I think the situation would benefit from a change of ownership rather than a mere change of beneficiary. But as presented, it's entirely correct.

Honestly, I think we're really on the same page here, just a word or two that we may be stumbling over.

And, yes, Lori, generalizations such as "all, none, never, always" are often poor choices of vocabulary.

Posted: 01 Dec 2009 08:00 Post Subject:

Life insurance doesn't create an immediate estate unless the insured is the owner of the policy.

Just because you haven't seen something doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Start paying attention and you'll see it often.

The issue isn't if the insured dies intestate. It's only an issue if the owner dies intestate.

A life insurance policy is treated like any other asset of the owner and can be passed on via a will.

Posted: 05 Jan 2010 12:59 Post Subject: Contesting Beneficiary

My father purchased a life insurance policy back in 1990 at that time I was a minor so he put his sister as beneficiary and me & my brother as contingent. My dad told me he was doing a change of beneficiary back in 2008 and needed my social security#.My dad passed away 10/30/09 so I called the insurance company to let him know about his death. His sister received the check from the insurance company and won't talk to me. The insurance company did admit my dad requested a change of beneficiary and sent him the paperwork 4/11/2008. They said I need to find the form or maybe it got lost when he mailed the form back. His sister admitted she knew the money was not meant for her but has decided I am greedy so she is going to sit on it for awhile. let me add I just found out she has a gambling problem. I live in WA and my dad lived in Iowa. Is this worth fighting for?

Posted: 15 Jun 2010 04:22 Post Subject:

I think you should honor who the deceased chose for their beneficiary. It should be unlawful to contest it. Why can't you accept what they wanted instead of selfishly thinking of yourselves.

Posted: 16 Jun 2010 05:04 Post Subject:

Is this worth fighting for?



There is nothing to "fight for" (or over). If the money was paid to your aunt, it's her money, regardless of what she and your father may have previously agreed to or what your father told you his "intent" was.

If the insurance company's practice is to require a policyowner to fill out a form to effect a change of beneficiary, if they never received the form, even if "lost in the mail," the only beneficiary they can pay the claim to is the one of record -- unless that person is disqualified by state law (as in a prison inmate, or legally incapable of receiving the money) or has predeceased the insured, neither of which appears to be the case in your situation.

It's your aunt's money, gambling habit or not. If she chooses to share it with you and your brother, that's her decision, not a court's.

This is exactly the reason that if a person intends for life insurance proceeds to go to their children, even if currently minors, the CHILDREN should be named as the beneficiaries. In addition to this, a will or trust will need to be created to provide instructions as to who or what will receive the money FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CHILDREN.

It is inappropriate to name any other person (other than a life insurance trust) to receive the proceeds with the expectation they will be used for the children (or given to them when they become adults).

Posted: 01 Sep 2010 11:30 Post Subject:

My father had me and my step mom both as 50/50 beneficiaries on his life insurance policy. She talked him into (or she changed it cause she had power of attorney) changing it to 100 for her 3-4 months before he died. My father had brain cancer and wasn't of sound mind? Can I go after my step mom even after she's already been paid by the insurance company? And how long do I have to file a claim?

Posted: 02 Sep 2010 03:53 Post Subject:

She talked him into (or she changed it cause she had power of attorney) changing it to 100 for her 3-4 months before he died. My father had brain cancer and wasn't of sound mind?



Power of attorney cannot confer the privilege of ownership on someone other than the actual owner of a life insurance or other policy. If you can document that your father was not of legal capacity to make any change of beneficiary at the time it was actually changed, then you have a valid claim against your stepmom, and there could be a case for forgery or other crime if she managed to get your father's signature on a beneficiary change form or letter.

It's all about the burden of proof. If you have it, great, if you don't . . .

Posted: 18 Dec 2010 01:07 Post Subject: life inshurance

My husband of 6 years passed away suddenly on oct 22nd in a ATV accident.He had worked for a company for 28 years and this past year he got hurt on the job and stared a workmans comp case.The accident happend right in the middle of this, but he had been tumanated from this job for 1yr and 3 months so he didnt know he had life inshurance.When he passed I found outh that he had it and the beneficiary was his dad.I know he already has the check and I want to know if there is anything I can do.My husband had no will wich also makes it difficult.Any info can help.

Posted: 18 Dec 2010 04:39 Post Subject:

Unfortunately, a named beneficiary supercedes all other possibilities. Unless that person is willing to share some or all of the proceeds, there is nothing you can do legally to obtain the money.

Perhaps a very visible public campaign denouncing your father-in-law might work.

Posted: 29 Dec 2010 12:38 Post Subject: Assigning benefuiciaries

My father just past away. He had been heavily medicated while dieing of cancer and somehow his girlfriend convinced him to marry her. As I settle the estate, of which there is little, to whom does the state of california deem as beneficiaries of bank accounts, car; there is no house. There is no will. Does it all go to her or are we equal beneficiarties?

Posted: 29 Dec 2010 01:24 Post Subject:

Does it all go to her or are we equal beneficiarties?



By "we", I assume you mean "the children". Under California law, a legal spouse has a priority claim over that of children. However, under the circumstances, you may possibly be in a position to challenge the marriage. You will need an attorney experienced in probate law.

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 08:55 Post Subject: Making a claim on a life insurance policy

My father recently passed away and I spoke to his life insurance company to inform them of his death. They are sending me claim paperwork, but I am not listed as beneficiary. My exact question is why would they send me the paperwork to make a claim if I am not the beneficiary?

Posted: 18 Feb 2011 05:48 Post Subject:

Insurance claim paperwork may be sent to anyone, and anyone may file a claim. The claim will only be paid to the person(s) entitled. If you are not the beneficiary, the claim will be paid to the beneficiary, and if there is no beneficiary, the claim will be paid to the owner of the policy.

Assuming that your father was also the owner (which is true in at least 95% of all individual life insurance policies), if there is no surviving beneficiary, the policy proceeds are payable to your father's estate. As your father's child, you (and your brothers and sisters) may be in line to receive estate proceeds . . . if creditors do not take it all first. If alive, your mother would be ahead of you (and your siblings) as the beneficiary of the estate, but not ahead of any of your father's creditors.

Posted: 01 Mar 2011 06:03 Post Subject:

As we can see from here, the mother is clearly ahead, especially after she convinced him to marry her. How will the estate proceeds be distributed now? Are there any specific guidelines? Or is it that she can get all of it since she's ahead?

Posted: 01 Mar 2011 08:56 Post Subject:

the mother is clearly ahead



Only if her status as spouse is not contested. If the OP is correct in asserting that the marriage was coerced or between persons one of whom had diminished capacity, then the probate court would be within its right to disqualify the spouse as a beneficiary of the decedent's estate.

There would have to be clear, compelling, and overwhelming evidence to support the claim challenging the spousal right of succession, and that's a pretty tough standard of proof.

Posted: 19 May 2011 07:30 Post Subject: beneficiary/executor

I have a dear friend who has cancer is getting her will ready, she has assigned me her will executor and has also named me her beneficiary for life insurance she has three policies, she is dividing her estate between her kids, wants me to take care of her financial affairs and is leaving me the what is left by word of mouth only. according to her will all her assets must be divided between the kids, she did not specify on the policies is that going to be a problem, please advise me as i have never been through such an awful situation.

Posted: 26 May 2011 07:39 Post Subject:

has also named me her beneficiary for life insurance she has three policies, she is dividing her estate between her kids, wants me to take care of her financial affairs and is leaving me the what is left by word of mouth only



All of this is improper. If your friend wants her life insurance divided between her three children, those children should be named as beneficiaries of the policies, NOT YOU. This cannot be done with a will, it must be done in writing with the insurance company. If the children are minors, the probate court will be involved in designating a fiduciary for the children's funds.

Nothing instructed by "word of mouth" means anything to the court that will probably be involved in probating your friend's estate following her death. IT NEEDS TO ALL BE IN WRITING.

Your friend may need legal advice to properly prepare her will and any trusts that may be necessary to hold funds for her children. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO HAVE THIS ESTABLISHED PRIOR TO ONE'S DEATH rather than leaving it up to a judge to make all the right decisions. The judges do a pretty good job, but they don't really know the whole situation, and they are required to apply the law rather than logic or reason, and their actions may be entirely inconsistent with what a person would have wanted.

Send me an email or PM if you need additional input.

Posted: 30 May 2011 04:25 Post Subject: insurance

YES!!!!!!!!! MAX is correct! No court will take "by verbal agreement." Documentation is the key to all of it. I have family members who have learned the hard way with this. Especially when it comes to the children..you don't want financial decisions to be put off because something wasn't documented.

Posted: 20 Jul 2011 01:45 Post Subject: life insurance

My uncle passed away last month at 93 from cancer. Up until december 2010 everything was left to my sister in the will. My cousin managed to get him to change the will so that he got everything. My uncle left both of my sister's a life insurance policy with them as beneficery. My cousin called to say that they should have went toward the funeral and that we would be getting a letter from an attorny. Can he contest the policy. One has already been paid and we are waiting on the other.

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