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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.

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Attorney answers 3


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

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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.

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

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick


My only thoughts as to possibly overturning the beneficiary designation is that it may have been procured through undue influence or at a time when the now deceased insured lacked the capacity to make a change. VERY difficult to prove. I have sometimes seen a constructive trust applied in such cases, however.

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