Life changes such as marriage, divorce, remarriage, the birth of a child or an adoption are the most common reasons for life insurance disputes. A beneficiary dispute may arise in a situation where a seriously ill policyholder makes a change in his/her beneficiaries toward the end of his/her life. Family members who are left out may file a competing claim and allege that the policyholder was not of sound mind when making the latest changes. They may also claim that the newly named beneficiary unduly influenced and coerced the insured into changing the beneficiary designation.
When an insurer is faced with a beneficiary dispute, it may insist on filing an interpleader action in court. An interpleader is a lawsuit initially involving three parties: the competing claimants and the insurer. The life insurance payout is put in a trust held by a state court. The insurer then withdraws from the lawsuit and the disputing beneficiaries may present their case to a judge. Often, the dispute may go to mediation or arbitration. It is far less expensive than litigation. A usual result of arbitration is two parties working out an agreement and dividing the proceeds.
How We Can Help
When a life insurance beneficiary is disputed, you should seek legal advice from a competent life insurance lawyer. Our life insurance attorneys have resolved many beneficiary disputes including:
- Last minute change in beneficiary designation
- Multiple beneficiaries disputing distribution of the life insurance proceeds
- Dispute when the beneficiary caused or contributed to the death of the insured
- No beneficiary listed on the policy
- Improper change of beneficiary
- Conflicting percentages allocated to beneficiaries
- Disputed among the surviving spouse and the ex-spouse
- Disputes among children entitled to life insurance proceeds under a court order
- Murder-suicide beneficiary disputes between the two estates
Having a competent life insurance attorney on your side will ensure your rights to the life insurance payout are protected. If your beneficiary designation is being disputed or you think the newly named beneficiary engaged in fraud, undue influence and duress shortly before the insured’s death, call us for a free consultation.
No Legal Fees Unless We Win Your Case!
Our attorneys work on a contingent fee basis. It means that we do not charge legal fees unless we collect the life insurance proceeds for you. Only then will we charge a reasonable legal fee. We take pride in offering competitive contingent fee structures and will work with you to ensure you are comfortable with the fee. If your claim has been denied or delayed, call our life insurance lawyers for help. We have the experience you can trust.