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  1. #1
    Tiggs is offline Junior Member
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    Beneficiary Change

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? Hawaii.

    My son was sole beneficiary of my ex-husband's insurance policy for many many years. My ex-husband recently changed the beneficiary while under the care of his sister; his sister now gets 90%; my son gets 10%. At the time of change, my husband was terminally ill and taking massive doses of pain medication and morphine. His sister took him into the insurance office to make the change. My ex-husband died a month later. His sister never told my son the change was made; he found out after his father died. The insurance company sent my son a form to contest the beneficiary, which he completed and returned. Can the insurance company determine that my ex-husband was not mentally or physically competent when he made the change (which they can substantiate through his medical records) and award the full amount to my son as it should have been? If not, what is next?
  2. #2
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggs
    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? Hawaii.

    My son was sole beneficiary of my ex-husband's insurance policy for many many years. My ex-husband recently changed the beneficiary while under the care of his sister; his sister now gets 90%; my son gets 10%. At the time of change, my husband was terminally ill and taking massive doses of pain medication and morphine. His sister took him into the insurance office to make the change. My ex-husband died a month later. His sister never told my son the change was made; he found out after his father died. The insurance company sent my son a form to contest the beneficiary, which he completed and returned. Can the insurance company determine that my ex-husband was not mentally or physically competent when he made the change (which they can substantiate through his medical records) and award the full amount to my son as it should have been? If not, what is next?

    My response:

    That's not how it works. To prove or disprove anything is NOT the insurance company's problem. Presumably, Auntie received the same form as did your son. When both forms are received, and if the insurance company cannot make a decision who should get what amount of money under the terms of the policy, then the insurance company will file a "Complaint In Interpleader" with the court, and deposit the money with the court, and have your son and Auntie served with the Complaint. When that happens, it will be up to your son and Auntie to fight over the money by "proving" each of their allegations as to why the money should or should not be given to one or the other.

    Gee, I hope there's enough money in the policy to make this all worthwhile because your son is looking at about $10,000.00 worth of legal fees and court costs.

    IAAL
  3. #3
    Tiggs is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you for your response. I guess my question more directly should have been: If the insurance company investigates a change of beneficiary and determines through medical records that the contract holder was mentally incapacitated at the time of the change due to required use of massive dosages of pain medication and moriphine, can the insurance company determine that the change of beneficiary was invalid and award the funds to the prior beneficiary. Also, if a person who is obviously under the influence and obviously very sick, goes into an insurance company to change his beneficiary, does the insurance agent have a legal obligation to deny the change of beneficiary form at that time or are they legally obligated to process the change no matter what condition the contract holder is in?

    In answer to your pondering, it is a substantial amount of money and would give a nice boost to the future of my son, his wife, and their two young children.
  4. #4
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Tiggs]Thank you for your response. I guess my question more directly should have been: If the insurance company investigates a change of beneficiary and determines through medical records that the contract holder was mentally incapacitated at the time of the change due to required use of massive dosages of pain medication and moriphine, can the insurance company determine that the change of beneficiary was invalid and award the funds to the prior beneficiary.
    MY RESPONSE: No, your original question and concerns were quite clear. I understood you completely. The problem is, you didn't understand my response to you. The insurance company is under NO obligation to read the medical chart notes, soap notes, medical reports, or anything else to determine his mental capacity. In fact, they won't. Their only obligation to your son and his Aunt is to make sure all of the policy terms and conditions have been followed. If they have, and if there's still a disagreement between beneficiaries, then the insurance company's final obligation is to file a "Complaint in Interpleader" (see above), thus allowing and requiring those beneficiaries to hire their own medical experts to examine the medical records, and to convince a jury of their respective "positions."

    Got money? Got boatloads of money?



    Also, if a person who is obviously under the influence and obviously very sick, goes into an insurance company to change his beneficiary, does the insurance agent have a legal obligation to deny the change of beneficiary form at that time or are they legally obligated to process the change no matter what condition the contract holder is in?
    MY RESPONSE: Since when is an insurance agent a medical doctor, or psychologist? An agent doesn't have the expertise or qualifications. in such areas. Many people seem and appear eccentric. Does that mean they're incompetent? Suffice it to say, if an Insured says, "I want to change my beneficiary", what is an agent to do - - say "no you can't"?

    Get ready to do battle. Open your purse wide. I just hope your purse is deep enough.

    IAAL
  5. #5
    Dandy Don is offline Senior Member
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    Interview with more than one attorney to find out what the various fee estimates would be for them to take this on--$10,000 seems like an awful lot to ask for a simple case like this and one might do it for less than that, especially since it appears you have a case that is strongly winnable on your side, especially if you can get the medical records proving he was under the influence of morphine at the time he signed.
  6. #6
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandy Don
    Interview with more than one attorney to find out what the various fee estimates would be for them to take this on--$10,000 seems like an awful lot to ask for a simple case like this and one might do it for less than that, especially since it appears you have a case that is strongly winnable on your side, especially if you can get the medical records proving he was under the influence of morphine at the time he signed.

    My response:

    Seems like an awful lot?

    What the hell do you know, Dandy Dufus? You've never paid for an expert witness or two in your life. You've never paid court costs or Deposition costs, or attorney's fees.

    My estimate is based upon experience and practice. Also, I was probably being conservative with my estimate - - it could run thousands more, depending upon the "fight" and the twists and turns such a case would take.

    So, I'm asking you, what the hell do you know about "an awful lot"? Do you always think in terms of Small Claims court?

    IAAL
  7. #7
    Dandy Don is offline Senior Member
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    I have no doubt that your answer was correct, but why should she pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees if she can find one who will do it for less than that?
  8. #8
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandy Don
    I have no doubt that your answer was correct, but why should she pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees if she can find one who will do it for less than that?

    My response:

    Absolutely. About 2.5 miles from her house is "Ed's Used Cars and Law Practice." Ed will help her for a $49.95, flat fee - - just as long as you buy a used car from him at his asking price (usually inflated by about $10,000.00).

    IAAL

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