Can a spouse contest an insurance policy left in another person’s name?

My father-in-law has just recently passed and he left 2 life insurance policies one to the mother of his kids who he lived as man and wife for over 25 years and one in the name of the legal spouse. Approximately $75,000 was left to the mother of his kids to be split 4 ways among he and the 3 kids. The 2nd one was $25,000 left to his legal wife whom he just married 8 years ago. The 1st policy was started long before the wife was in the picture and when he was still with the kid’s mother. The wife is now trying to contest that life insurance policy feeling that she deserves the money, not the kids mother.

Asked on July 19, 2012 under Insurance Law, Michigan


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  This is not an easy question to answer because a spouse has some legal rights to inherit under the law.  But the general rule with insurance policies is that you can name what ever beneficiary you want to inherit them.  I would speak with an  attorney in your area who can look at the whole picture.  Good luck.

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