Who can change the beneficiary legally?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 04/09/2010 - 13:44

Just trying to get a grip here!

My father recently passed away.

He had an ex-girlfriend who looked after his books. She skimmed money out of his account (she set it up jointly to make it "easier" to pay bills) for nearly two years! He had diagnosed Alzheimers', and he believed whatever she said - he never looked at the paperwork, she dissapeared before he died.

She changed the beneficiaries on his IRA - this we have managed to revert via the Living Trust he set up for us, but not on his company life insurance policy. His signature did not appear on the IRA at all - she copied his drivers' license, and simply put herself down as the beneficiary - it had her signature only, and the company accepted it!!! Thank heaven that was resolved - I find it hard to believe that this is allowed in any case.

She does NOT appear on the Living Trust. However, he has left debts that need to be paid - is there a way, if his signature does not appear on the beneficiary documents, to have this corrected? If this is genuinely what he wanted it would be different - but I was holding his hand when he died and she was nowhere - she could be dead, we don't know - but we had discussed his wishes prior to his death, and this is certainly not what he intended. He gave her a car, and has paid for cell phones and expenses - from there, he had no other intentions to leave other assets (hence the Trust). They were never married or engaged, and they have never cohabited - there is evidence to corroborate all of the above.

I know that company life insurance does not have the automatic cancellation of rights at the end of a relationship, but if she named herself as beneficiary, without my fathers' signature, knowledge or consent, surely this is fraud? Particularly given his vulnerable mental state. Any advice gratefully received.

Posted: 10 Apr 2010 01:07 Post Subject:

sprite, first of all I'm sorry you lost your father...secondly

He had an ex-girlfriend who looked after his books. She skimmed money out of his account (she set it up jointly to make it "easier" to pay bills) for nearly two years! He had diagnosed Alzheimers', and he believed whatever she said - he never looked at the paperwork, she dissapeared before he died.

What a peach of a gal! :shock: :roll: :evil:

but if she named herself as beneficiary, without my fathers' signature, knowledge or consent, surely this is fraud?

Certainly it's fraud..I assume you have filed a claim on this policy? Have you spoke to the carrier on this policy at all? I would contact them immediately..be sure and explain the IRA as well...If you have already talked with them what are they saying? Have you contacted your local prosecutor? I sure would...I'd think they'd have a really good case for the IRA and more!

Posted: 11 Apr 2010 08:18 Post Subject:

The only person who can legally change a beneficiary is either the policyowner (unless the beneficiary is designated irrevocable) or a court order. No one else. If there's a legal Power of Attorney (POA), this might have had something to do with the issues at hand.

InsTeacher 8)

Posted: 13 Apr 2010 11:25 Post Subject: Income Protection Insurance Australia

insurance policies helps at the time of emergency illness

Posted: 16 Apr 2010 02:45 Post Subject:

A court order can only force the owner to change the beneficiary designation, it cannot force the insurer to do so. The court is not a party to the contract.

Life insurance would not help "at the time of emergency illness." That's what medical insurance is for.

(OK, for those who would just love to argue that point, a person with a cash value policy might be able to borrow some of the CV to pay a hospital bill, but that isn't the primary reason a person buys life insurance.)

Posted: 18 Apr 2010 06:56 Post Subject:

Only the actual policy owner can change the beneficiary; however, if the policy owner gives a POA (Power of Attorney) to someone and that POA contains rights to changealterassume financial responsibilities then the person with the POA rights can change the beneficiary. However, it's very unethical for the POA to change the beneficiary to themselves, and this can result in possible fraud.

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 12:53 Post Subject: poa

brother was power of attorney fordad with alziemers. brother has been using his poa to change beneficiarys and put in his name and collect the monies now that dad died.

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 01:14 Post Subject:

It has already been mentioned before, a person using Power of Attorney to change the current beneficiary and enlist himself as the new beneficiary is unethical and can amount to possible fraud.

Posted: 25 Feb 2012 12:23 Post Subject:

a person using Power of Attorney to change the current beneficiary and enlist himself as the new beneficiary is unethical and can amount to possible fraud


There are a couple of things wrong here.

First, if a Power of Attorney SPECIFICALLY grants the right to change insurance, pension, or retirement account beneficiaries, that is not unlawful, and the change requested would have to be made.

Second, the only way to get to FRAUD is through intent. If a person who had been given Power of Attorney made an honest, good faith attempt to change a life insurance beneficiary, but did not have that right granted in the POA document, although it would not require the insurer to change the beneficiary, it would not be a fraudulent act. It just would not withstand judicial scrutiny.

Third, there is nothing UNETHICAL about any person with a lawfully executed Power of Attorney doing anything that favors or benefits himself, UNLESS it is done with bad intent -- such as to deprive someone else of their claims or status. As stated above, only when bad intent is present might fraud be also.

There are plenty of examples of POAs obtained under duress, coercion, or through misrepresentation or deceit. Those are obviously problems. But when a father grants POA to his son or daughter, or a husband to his wife, it is usually done because an element of love and affection and trust is involved. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, courts do not normally interfere in those familial bonds.

It must be understood that the primary mission of the civil courts is not to act to overturn contracts, such as Powers of Attorney, but to try to make them enforceable. Only when there has been a breach of contract will the court act differently.

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 09:10 Post Subject: altering beneficiaries in policy

1 year ago my mother had power of attorney with me.she then changed my life insurance beneficiary to my sister in law without my knowledge.in finding out I contacted met life and I changed this back for my 4 grand children to be my beneficiaries as before.she was going to make my sister in law very wealthy.is this legal what my mother did ?thanks !

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 02:14 Post Subject:

First, if you have not already done so, it sounds like you need to revoke the Power of Attorney -- immediately. If you give someone else your Power of Attorney, it needs to be very specific as to what the POA permits the holder to do.

Second, it is not normally lawful for anyone other than the owner of a life insurance contract to make any changes to beneficiaries or other policy provisions over which the owner has control (such as loans or surrenders). An insurance company that permits an unauthorized person to make such changes may be liable to pay the death benefit a second time.

Did you make the change of beneficiary in writing? Did you use MetLife's Change of Beneficiary Form? You cannot make such changes over the telephone.

Posted: 24 Jun 2014 05:25 Post Subject:

InsTeacher, I am agree with you. If she is able to change the beneficiary, then definitely she have Power Of Attorney for this otherwise no one can change the name of beneficiary except the owner of the policy.

Posted: 24 Jun 2014 04:54 Post Subject:

If she is able to change the beneficiary, then definitely she have Power Of Attorney

First off, you are responding to a post that is 4 years old. Second, very few insurance companies will accept Power of Attorney as the basis to change a beneficiary designation, because there is no way to verify that the change being made is what the owner desires, and could be entirely fraudulent. The insurance company does not want that trouble on its hands.

Posted: 01 Jun 2015 04:25 Post Subject: POA

I'm in Federal court now with metlife and the POA of my fathers Estste.He changed my fathers Will 9 days before he died and had been changing my fathers policy for 3 yrs but my father never filled it out or did he sign it.Metlife denied him 3x's and he changed the POA 2x's.The 2nd x(POA) he copied exactly what metlife told him the POA should have said the first time.The whole time i "his son"knew nothing about this.He is my fathwers friend and told him he was my dad cousin.He is not related to us at all.So now Metlife is giving it to a judge to decide who should get the money.I'm on the policy 100%.The money was left for me and my daughter his only granddaughter.They"metlife said it goes to me,that A-Hole,or the estate which means he gets it.I'm so pissed at this guy.This money is mine.What can i do?????

Posted: 03 Jun 2015 10:55 Post Subject:

You will have to hire an attorney to present your case to the federal court in which the "interpleader" action is filed. This is a serious matter and without an experienced insurance attorney, you will not be in a good position to win.

Posted: 05 Oct 2018 08:54 Post Subject: Poa

Most insurance companies do not allow p o a to change insurance it can only be c changed by policy holders

Posted: 05 Oct 2018 08:54 Post Subject: Poa

Most insurance companies do not allow p o a to change insurance it can only be c changed by policy holders

Posted: 22 Nov 2019 01:15 Post Subject: Hello

I know what you did last week, i will not tell anybody if you send me 500usd immediately

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