I am named as the primary beneficiary for my mother's life insurance policy. How long does my step father have to contest this?

Asked over 1 year ago - Seattle, WA

Also, at what point will I be notified (assuming he doesn't tell me) if he contests it? I realize Washington State is a community property state, does ERISA help protect my benefits since the policies were through her employer (one fully paid by the employer, the other an add on she paid monthly for directly from her check). I plan to file the claim upon receipt of the death certificate. If there is anything else I should consider at this point, please advise. Thank you in advance for any information you can share.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Thuong-Tri Nguyen

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . "one fully paid by the employer, the other an add on she paid monthly for directly from her check". It appears the funds used to pay the insurance premiums were community property. The surviving spouse has a claim on the community property. At least half of the insurance proceeds likely belong to the surviving spouse since your mother has no right to give away the spouse's property without his consent.

    If the insurance company knows of the marriage, the company likely would ask the court to decide who should get the money since the company likely does not want to pay twice on the proceeds.

  2. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr

    Contributor Level 18

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Many estate planning attorneys will offer a complimentary consultation and you should definitely take advantage of the same. He or she can make sure that you have your ducks in a row should your step-father contest the claim. Furthermore, you will then have an attorney in-place to assist you going forward rather than scrambling at the moment of the claim. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor... more
  3. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with attorney Pankowski.
    This could be an estate claim question or a statute of limitation question or both.
    There is little that you can do at this point except wait.
    If this a question of the deceased being incompetent-you could try to discuss with his primary
    doctor but most client information is privileged.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more
  4. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . It doesn't matter what kind of state it is if it is ERISA.

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