Can the next of kin fight a benificiary on a life insurance policy?

UPDATED: Feb 16, 2012

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Can the next of kin fight a benificiary on a life insurance policy?

My father has recently passed away and he had not had a chance to change his beneficiary on his life insurance from his half sister, to me, his only daughter. He moved here last minute and was only here a 2 months before he died. She isn’t doing anything as the beneficiary and hasn’t even filled out the claim form yet. I can’t physically make her do it. I need to know if I can fight her for it so I can pay for his services.

Asked on February 16, 2012 under Insurance Law, Delaware


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The problem with most life insurance policies is that when there is a designated beneficiary on such a policy and the person whose life is insured dies, the beneficiary gets the insurance policy as a "gift" tax free.

In the situation that you are writing about, if your father's half sister was the designated beneficiary under his life insurance policy when he dies, she is entitled to the policy pay out, not you or your father's estate.

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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