Is it legal to change the beneficiary without notice to the original beneficiary?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal to change the beneficiary without notice to the original beneficiary?

I just called my dad’s life insurance company and they told me it was closed and paid out. I’m not one of the beneficiaries but I have been for 11 years and I never signed anything saying I wasn’t and it was changed. My dad couldn’t read or write and all he knew how to do was to sign his name. My dad had been sick over a year. Was tf legal if someone changed my dad’s life insurance beneficiary when he was sick?

Asked on February 13, 2017 under Insurance Law, West Virginia


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your father was the owner of the policy, then he had the right to change benficiaries as he saw fit. No notice need have been given to you, as the original benenficiary.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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