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Can a beneficiary to a life insurance policy be changed after the insured dies?

San Diego, CA |

My father lived with "her" a very short time, and she insisted they be engaged, as to not live in sin. She also demanded he list her as beneficiary. After he moved out, she refused to allow him to get his belongings. He went to a lawyer and had him send her a letter requesting the return of his stuff or go to court. She still kept alot of his stuff. I KNOW my father believed he had changed the beneficiary to me, his only child.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. I believe that your chances of having this overturned are VERY minute. Depending on the amount involved, it might be worth trying to challenge it. "She" might decide to settle, as opposed to going to trial on this, since it is a pure windfall for her. This would be a very tough case, however, and you would need a very skilled probate litigator to bring it with any hope of prevailing.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  2. As Attorney Frederick mentioned, this is a challenge. It is probably worth some effort depending on the amount at issue. Contact a local probate attorney for a fact specific analysis.

    ** LEGAL DISCLAIMER ** My response above is not legal advice and it does not establish an attoreny-client relationship. When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel. Law Offices of Eric J. Gold www.EGoldLaw.com Telephone: 818-279-2737 Email: service@egoldlaw.con


  3. Generally, the right to change the beneficiary belongs to the insured, who obviously cannot change it after he dies.

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