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Can you contest life insurance beneficiary designations?

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2022 | Estate Litigation

Settling the estate of a loved one can be a complicated process, especially if you find that certain aspects are not as you expected them to be. As your family walks through the legal requirements of probate and other steps you have to take to settle remaining estate matters, you may find that the beneficiary designations on life insurance policies are not accurate. Not only is this cause for concern, but it can also lead to complex legal proceedings. 

In certain circumstances, there is a valid reason to challenge beneficiary designations on a life insurance account. The intent of your loved one when he or she took out the life insurance policy was to provide for specific individuals in the future, and you may have to fight to ensure the money goes to the right place. If you believe you have grounds to dispute beneficiary designation in court, it is beneficial to first learn about the legal options available to you. 

Who gets the money? 

The designated beneficiary on a life insurance policy is the person who should receive the money when the policyholder passes away. In many cases, this is a spouse, a child or grandchildren. There are also cases in which a policyholder may name a contingency beneficiary in the event that other beneficiaries are no longer alive. Issues over beneficiaries often arise when a policyholder fails to update designations after major life events, such as a divorce, or makes abrupt changes to a policy immediately before his or her death. 

Insurance companies are not able to resolve disputes over beneficiaries. These disputes will go to court, during which you may challenge the current designation. You may present evidence of why you believe the beneficiary designation is not right, which could include a policyholder’s lack of mental capacity to make changes or coercion.  

Fighting for the best outcome 

It can be devastating to learn that the beneficiary designations on a loved one’s life insurance policy is not correct. Your family has the right to fight for the best outcome to the situation, ensuring that the money ends up in the right place. Litigation over estate matters is complex, and you may benefit from first seeking an assessment of the case and an understanding of the legal process that your Minnesota family may have to navigate in pursuit of a satisfactory conclusion.