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How can I contest beneficiary changes to a life insurance policy? Do attorneys do this on a contingency fee?

Houston, TX |

How does one prove duress or coercion? The newly named beneficiary is no longer to related to the deceased. The deceased does have living children who were an active part of his life up until death. Changes to beneficiaries were made without knowledge or witness of any children. The rightful beneficiaries are unable at this time to retain legal representation due to financial reasons. Is it legal to change the beneficiary information this way? Without a legal relative present to witness changes? And with the policy holder being heavily medicated? What can we do? How do we go about doing it?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Proving fraud or lack of legal capacity of the signer would be the only ways I can think od to win such a contest. Those are tough fights. You may be able to find a contingent fee attorney if they believe there is a likelihood success

    Kendall Cockrell is an attorney with The Cockrell Law Firm in Beaumont, Texas. None of the opinions he states on this site constitute an attorney-client relationship. For more information, contact The Cockrell Law Firm. Contact information available on Kendall Cockrell's profile on this site.


  2. You need a lawyer. Keep looking until you find one that will do it on contingency.

    You'll have to develop and produce a ton of evidence and you just won't be successful trying to do that pro se.

    This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.


  3. I agree with Ms. Lowry and Mr. Cockrell. Finding a lawyer to take the case in a contingency fee may be difficult. Expenses may be quite high, and could include obtaining medical records and retaining experts.

    Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services. See http://zgourides.com for more information.


  4. Agree with my colleagues above. Additionally, you should put the insurance company on notice asap that you suspect fraud; use certified mail.


  5. I agree these are tough fights, but lawyers do take these type of cases. Call someone experienced in probate or fiduciary litigation, and be up front that your seeking to take this on a contingency. A huge factor is the size of the policy. It simply isn't economic if the policy is small.

    There is no legal relationship created or implied by the exchange of message on this website. All statements are not to be construed as legal advice but as general guidance. In all cases, an attorney should be retained to review the full circumstances and deliver advice consistent with the information learned.


  6. I handle these routinely on a contingency fee basis. The most important first step is to put the insurance company on written notice of a contest before they make payment.

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