+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16
  1. #1
    nantmitchell is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1

    Life Insurance Beneficiary Contest

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana
    My son was killed in 07/05--I was the sole beneficiary of his life insurance. My son's ex-girlfriend is trying to contest the validity of the distribution of benefits.
    This was a private policy which was witnessed and my son was in good mental health. She does have one child by him who does not carry his last name and he is not named on the birth certificate. I set up an annuity under my name for my granddaughter. Nowhere on the policy were her or my granddaughter mentioned. Does she have any legal standing to contest this?
    Last edited by nantmitchell; 06-12-2011 at 09:55 AM.
  2. #2
    anteater is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    6,020
    What does "trying to contest" mean? Has she actually filed?
  3. #3
    Willlyjo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by nantmitchell View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana
    My son was killed in 07/05--I was the sole beneficiary of his life insurance. My son's ex-girlfriend is trying to contest the validity of the distribution of benefits.
    This was a private policy which was witnessed and my son was in good mental health. She does have one child by him who does not carry his last name and he is not named on the birth certificate. I set up an annuity under my name for my granddaughter. Nowhere on the policy were her or my granddaughter mentioned. Does she have any legal standing to contest this?
    It very well could be that the child has rights to at least a portion of the life insurance payout. The ex has no rights to any of it.
  4. #4
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    34,263
    Under what law would that be, Willy?

    Before you answer, be aware that I work with life insurance policies for a living and know more than a little about the laws involved.

    So. What law exists that guarantees any individual, regardless of their relationship, a share in a life insurance policy?
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  5. #5
    Willlyjo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    Under what law would that be, Willy?

    Before you answer, be aware that I work with life insurance policies for a living and know more than a little about the laws involved.

    So. What law exists that guarantees any individual, regardless of their relationship, a share in a life insurance policy?
    Tell me why a child of a deceased person wouldn't have any rights to a life insurance payoff? Maybe you and your insurance companies don't see it that way, but the courts would.

    Obviously, it is up to the courts to make this decision now so based on common sense, I can see why the ex filed an opposition regarding benefits and I can see she probably will prevail in getting benefits paid to the child of the deceased.

    You can disagree all you want, but until there is a result (via court decision), it is mere conjecture/opinion. And I stick by my opinion that the child has rights to benefits provided by the policy.
  6. #6
    anteater is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    6,020
    Quote Originally Posted by Willlyjo View Post
    Tell me why a child of a deceased person wouldn't have any rights to a life insurance payoff? Maybe you and your insurance companies don't see it that way, but the courts would.

    Obviously, it is up to the courts to make this decision now so based on common sense, I can see why the ex filed an opposition regarding benefits and I can see she probably will prevail in getting benefits paid to the child of the deceased.

    You can disagree all you want, but until there is a result (via court decision), it is mere conjecture/opinion. And I stick by my opinion that the child has rights to benefits provided by the policy.
    That is absolute, pure, unadulterated crap.
  7. #7
    anteater is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    6,020
    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    Under what law would that be, Willy?

    Before you answer, be aware that I work with life insurance policies for a living and know more than a little about the laws involved.

    So. What law exists that guarantees any individual, regardless of their relationship, a share in a life insurance policy?
    cbg -

    An off-topic, but somewhat related, question for you. Is employer group life insurance subject to ERISA? And if so, as in a 401(k), would a spouse need to waive a right to receive the proceeds?
  8. #8
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    34,263
    Willy - because that's not how life insurance policies work. The only person who has a *right* to the proceeds is the person named as beneficiary. We're not talking whether the child has a moral or ethical right to the proceeds (though I think even that is questionable in this particular instance) - we're talking about whether the child has a LEGAL right to them.

    So. Are you saying there is such a law?

    anteater -Life insurance policies are not subject to the ERISA beneficiary requirements. Barring a state law that specifically says otherwise, the beneficiary of the life insurance policy can be anyone the employee wants it to be, with or without the spouse's signature. The last I heard, only one state had such a law (and it was not the poster's state) and I believe even in that state the law has since been repealed.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  9. #9
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    in the ether
    Posts
    34,388
    Willlyjo;2834529]Tell me why a child of a deceased person wouldn't have any rights to a life insurance payoff?
    because they weren't named as a beneficiary.

    Maybe you and your insurance companies don't see it that way, but the courts would.
    No, they wouldn't.


    Obviously, it is up to the courts to make this decision now so based on common sense, I can see why the ex filed an opposition regarding benefits and I can see she probably will prevail in getting benefits paid to the child of the deceased.
    Unless somebody tries to take this to court, it will not be up to the courts. The first place a person disputes the beneficiary is with the insurance company. Unless there is something not being told here, the insurance company is going to simply deny the mother anything.


    You can disagree all you want, but until there is a result (via court decision), it is mere conjecture/opinion. And I stick by my opinion that the child has rights to benefits provided by the policy.
    A person buying a policy can name whomever they wish as beneficiary. It has nothing to do with having children or anything else. It's whoever is named that gets the money. It really is that simple.
  10. #10
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    34,263
    FYI, I do not work for an insurance company. I work for a major university and administer, among other benefits, the life insurance policy offered to employees. But I have been administering such policies for over 30 years.

    Willy, show me a single court case where, six years after the fact, a court ordered the re-distribution of a life insurance policy in which the named beneficiary was a parent and the newly created beneficiary was an unacknowledged child for which the grandparent had already made provision.

    I'll wait. But I won't hold my breath.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  11. #11
    Betty is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Il.(near StL, Mo.)
    Posts
    3,299
    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    Willy - because that's not how life insurance policies work. The only person who has a *right* to the proceeds is the person named as beneficiary. We're not talking whether the child has a moral or ethical right to the proceeds (though I think even that is questionable in this particular instance) - we're talking about whether the child has a LEGAL right to them.
    I worked for a life ins. co. for many years & cbg is correct - the proceeds would go to the beneficiary named in the policy (in this case the OP/his Mother).
  12. #12
    Willlyjo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    FYI, I do not work for an insurance company. I work for a major university and administer, among other benefits, the life insurance policy offered to employees. But I have been administering such policies for over 30 years.

    Willy, show me a single court case where, six years after the fact, a court ordered the re-distribution of a life insurance policy in which the named beneficiary was a parent and the newly created beneficiary was an unacknowledged child for which the grandparent had already made provision.

    I'll wait. But I won't hold my breath.
    You are right CBG...I responded hastily. Sorry for that! Taking into consideration the grandparent DID make provisions, I don't believe a court would allow any benefits to the deceased's child.

    However, since the grandparent does seem to realize that the child of the deceased should benefit by the life insurance payout, I'm sure a court would realize as well, had there not been provisions made for the grandchild--just my opinion.
    Last edited by Willlyjo; 06-13-2011 at 01:24 PM.
  13. #13
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    65,877
    Quote Originally Posted by Willlyjo View Post
    You are right CBG...I responded hastily. Sorry for that! Taking into consideration the grandparent DID make provisions, I don't believe a court would allow any benefits to the deceased's child.

    However, since the grandparent does seem to realize that the child of the deceased should benefit by the life insurance payout, I'm sure a court would realize as well, had there not been provisions made for the grandchild--just my opinion.
    Willy, a court would not have jurisdiction to change the beneficiary of life insurance nor the ability to take money away from the named beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

    There can be some rare exceptions to that in a circumstance where a change of beneficiary was in the works, but other than that, no.
  14. #14
    Willlyjo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    Willy, a court would not have jurisdiction to change the beneficiary of life insurance nor the ability to take money away from the named beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

    There can be some rare exceptions to that in a circumstance where a change of beneficiary was in the works, but other than that, no.
    Opinions are made to be changed sometimes .
  15. #15
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    34,263
    Willy, I believe you are thinking of a 401k plan or other types of retirement plan, where the spouse has a guaranteed right under the law right to be the beneficiary, and must sign off on any other provision. Even if an employee wanted to split the proceeds between the spouse and children, the spouse must give written permission for that to happen.

    But even for a 401k plan, there is no such provision for children. And there is not and never was any such provision, for any family member, on life insurance. It is ALWAYS entirely up to the policyholder who the beneficiary is, unless it is specifically bought for a specific purpose, such as key man insurance or insurance bought in protection of alimony/child support, and these are very much exceptions to the general rule.

    Even without the grandmother's making provision, since life insurance has always intended to be for whomever the policyholder wanted it to be for, and since it went to the next of kin (since the father was not on the birth certificate of the child), it is not at all likely that a court would overturn the signed beneficiary. And frankly, if there was any chance of it happening at all, it would have to have happened six years ago when the policyholder, our poster's son, was killed. Six years after the fact, the chance that a court would order the re-distribution away from a parent and to an ex-girlfriend and her child (regardless of the relationship of the child to the policyholder) is virtually nil.

    I've worked with hundreds of life insurance policies in my years as a benefits administrator, and I have yet to see a single case where a court overturned a signed and witnessed beneficiary assignment in favor of a different family member, regardless of the relationship.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.

Similar Threads

  1. Contest Life Insurance Beneficiary
    By desertrose0317 in forum Life Insurance & Annuities
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-12-2009, 02:25 PM
  2. how to contest life insurance beneficiary?
    By in_this_corner in forum Life Insurance & Annuities
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-20-2007, 02:09 PM
  3. Can I contest life insurance after it's been paid?
    By terminills in forum Life Insurance & Annuities
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-22-2005, 05:06 PM
  4. Life Insurance Beneficiary/Divorced/Death/Ex-wife is still beneficiary/Contest?
    By friendoffriend2 in forum Life Insurance & Annuities
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-30-2005, 12:07 PM
  5. Contest Life Insurance Beneficiary
    By jfwhite in forum Life Insurance & Annuities
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-10-2005, 01:59 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.