When you take out a life insurance policy, you make a contract between yourself and the insurer that death benefits will get paid to the beneficiary(ies) you designate. Unfortunately, while this seems straightforward, there are situations where others who you didn't choose will try to make a claim. This means your policy beneficiaries are being contested. If you have a beneficiary contest or life insurance interpleader, we can help.
Who is Eligible to Contest?
Whether a feud has erupted between family members or a contentious divorce has an ex-spouse seeking proceeds based on community property laws, there are countless situations where one could contest your beneficiary designation. Usually, those bringing these actions are doing so based on what they believe is valid grounds, whether through a divorce decree or the insured's current state of mental capacity.
Typical Situations Where Contesting a Beneficiary Designation is Helpful
To better understand why disputes over who is a beneficiary or not are entirely valid, an overview of common situations where this occurs are below:
Your Ex-Spouse is a Beneficiary
Even though many states automatically revoke the rights of an ex-spouse as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy, there are circumstances where this wouldn't apply. Irrevocable trusts that include this death benefit coverage as part of the estate, and your former spouse is the chosen recipient of that policy, for instance.
Divorce and Community Property Claims
In community property states, when you divorce or your marriage is dissolved due to your death, all assets earned during your union are considered part of the marital estate. This means your surviving spouse could contest beneficiaries you designated on your life insurance who are not part of your marriage.
Contesting Beneficiaries on the Grounds Your Choice Being Coerced or Forged
While extremely challenging to prove, contesting a beneficiary based on the insured was unduly influenced, or paperwork was forged are valid reasons to take action.
Last-minute changes to policies that involve changing who will receive the coverage proceeds get frequently scrutinized by concerned family members. If you or a loved one didn't have the mental capacity to update the policy, the change might not be considered valid by the insurer or a court of law.
Contesting Beneficiary Designation Based on Non-Compliance with Insurer Policy Requirements
Insurers vary significantly on what steps are required to update beneficiary designations on a life insurance policy. However, for changes to be valid, all policy provisions must be complied with. Failure to do so could give grounds for other family members to contest your decision.
Contact a Life Insurance Lawyer if You Are Involved in a Beneficiary Dispute
If you or a loved one don't agree with the beneficiary designated by a loved one (living or deceased), you may have grounds to file a dispute. This requires aggressive representation by a skilled life insurance attorney. At our life insurance law firm, you can rely on our in-depth knowledge and years of experience to represent your best interests in these sensitive matters.
Discover how quickly this challenging experience can get resolved when relying on our law firm to represent you.