Who can contest beneficiary designation?
Usually, beneficiary disputes arise in the context of a family feud, divorce, marriage, separation or insured’s illness. Anyone with a valid legal claim can dispute the existing beneficiary on the policy.
In the majority of cases, those disputing the existing beneficiary designation have a claim for benefits that is based either on a contract or divorce decree or on allegations of undue influence, duress, insured’s mistake or mental incapacitation.
Whatever the case may be, beneficiary disputes are complex and require legal counsel on both sides. Our firm has successfully handled many beneficiary contests. We are aware of the legal issues involved in such cases and have the experience necessary to resolve them.
What is the insurance company’s role in beneficiary contests?
Insurance companies are inclined to allow disputing parties to reach an agreement and will hold the funds until an amicable resolution is achieved. If, however, the parties cannot agree to settle, the insurer will file an interpleader (a lawsuit) and will deposit the life insurance proceeds into a court’s escrow account.
In these cases, the insurance company is not withholding the benefits. It simply cannot determine who should get the payout, so in order to avoid double liability, it allows the court to name the rightful recipient of the benefits. When this happens, the parties involved in a contest will start preparing the case for litigating in court.
The insurance company, acting as a neutral stakeholder, will withdraw from the case. Often, the insurer’s legal costs are taken out of the life insurance amount. This is one of the reasons people choose to resolve beneficiary contests outside of court, especially if the amount of benefits is not large enough to justify this expense.
What should I do if I am involved in a beneficiary contest?
If you find yourself in the middle of a beneficiary contest, you need to have an experienced life insurance attorney on your side. Our beneficiary contest lawyers will listen to you carefully, evaluate your case, outline possible venues of handling the dispute and design a legal strategy that will work to protect your rights.
Not only do we have the experience needed to negotiate complex beneficiary disputes, but we also work hard at protecting your rights and making sure you are satisfied with the outcome. In addition, we will act on your behalf so you do not have to involve yourself in a stressful dispute.
We will keep you informed of any developments of your case.
What fee do attorneys charge for handling beneficiary disputes?
Different law firms have different fee structures when it comes to handling beneficiary disputes. Some firms will bill you on a per-hour basis and some will offer a contingent fee arrangement.
Our life insurance lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. It means that we will charge a percentage of your payout only after you get paid. If you do not recover the benefits, there will be no legal fee.
This fee structure enables us to commence representation only in cases where we believe the recovery is possible. If you are going through a beneficiary dispute and need advice, please call us at 1-888-510-2212 for a free consultation.
Call us now at (888) 510-2212. Competitive contingent fees.