After a beneficiary relinquishes their rights can they change their minds?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

After a beneficiary relinquishes their rights can they change their minds?

My mother in law recently passed away. When going through the will the house and property was left to my sister in law and everything else would be split 50/50 between my husband and sister in law. The executor of the will and my sister in law both said that is was my mother in laws wishes that the life insurance money go to my husband. So my sister in law signed a letter stating that she relinquishes all rights to the life insurance and recognizes my husband as the rightful beneficiary. Now she is refusing to sign the waiver from the insurance company because she wants the money and she told us to take her to court. Can she now change her mind and get half the money?

Asked on November 1, 2019 under Estate Planning, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The letter she signed may have expressed her thinking or intention then, but it was not a legally binding contract (since she did not receive anything of value--any "consideration" as the law terms it--in exchange for offering to give up her rights) and also was not the official waiver from the insurance company Therefore, the letter had no legal effect and is not binding on her; she could legally change her mind and choose to receive/keep the money.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption