Can a wife of a little over year contest a life insurance beneficiary?

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Can a wife of a little over year contest a life insurance beneficiary?

My grandfather recently passed away and his new wife of only a year is contesting everything. We recently found out that she is contesting the life insurance policy that was left as my dad beneficiary. Can she legally do this? My grandfather was of sound mind when he signed it to go to my dad.

Asked on July 12, 2016 under Insurance Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The proceeds of a life insurance policy (as well as a 401k, TOD accounts, etc.) pass outside of probate. This means that the designated beneficiary takes outright; there is no need for court involvement as beneficiaries/heirs of the deceased have no legal rights to such proceeds. Bottom line, your stepmother can contest this policy, unless there is evidence of your grandfather not being of sound mind or unduly influenced, etc. when he took out the policy, she has no grounds to prevail.


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