An interpleader is a lawsuit that an insurance company files in court if it is presented with two or more competing life insurance claims. In an interpleader, the life insurance proceeds are deposited with a court and will be paid after the case is resolved. The insurance company will withdraw from the lawsuit leaving the competing claimants resolve their disputes either in court or through arbitration.
How Do I Know If The Insurer Will File A Lawsuit?
Often, disputes over who is entitled to life insurance proceeds give rise to the need for life insurers to file interpleader actions and deposit the full policy benefits into the court. If the insurer informed you that there is a potential competing claimant, most likely it will file an interpleader. The insurance company will ask the court to deduct its legal fees from the life insurance proceeds. If you hire an experienced life insurance attorney before an interpleader is filed you can save time and money. First, an attorney can research the legal issues of the case and present your case before the insurance company’s lawyers and the competing claimant. This will make your position stronger and may force the opposing side to settle the case without going to court. Second, if the dispute goes through sometimes mandatory arbitration, you need a competent life insurance attorney on your side.
In general, if there is any uncertainty regarding distribution of life insurance benefits, the insurer will prefer to have the court resolve the dispute. At Kadetskaya Law Firm, we handle interpleader cases involving the following circumstances:
- The insured has been murdered and the primary beneficiary has not been ruled out as a person of interest;
- The insured’s surviving spouse and ex-spouse both claim entitlement to the proceeds;
- The insured had children from different marriages that ended in divorce and was obligated to maintain the same life insurance policy as child support in both divorce decrees;
- The insured was divorced but never changed the beneficiary designation and lived in a state where “automatic revocation upon divorce” laws control;
- The insured was murdered and the beneficiary is not eliminated as a person of interest;
- The insured’s ex-spouse is entitled to life insurance as part of their final judgment of divorce;
- The insured changed the beneficiary several days before death giving rise to suspicion of undue influence, duress and fraud;
- The insured had no beneficiary designation on file;
- The insured indicated on the application that he is allocating 100% of policy proceeds to one beneficiary and 100% of the same proceeds to a different beneficiary;
- The insured and the beneficiary died simultaneously, giving rise to disputes among the two estates and contingent beneficiaries;
- The insured was murdered by the beneficiary who then committed a suicide, giving rise to the battle of the two estates and contingent beneficiaries;
- The insured did not comply with the insurance company’s rules about changing the beneficiary;
- The insured expressed intent to change the beneficiary, completed proper forms, but died before submitting them to the insurer.
If you think there may be a competing claim to your life insurance proceeds or if you suspect the change in beneficiary designation was obtained through fraud or undue influence, 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.