Can a life insurance policy beneficiary be challengedafter the payout?

UPDATED: Jun 12, 2011

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Can a life insurance policy beneficiary be challengedafter the payout?

My son was killed 6 years ago and I was the sole beneficiary of his life insurance. My son’s ex-girlfriend is trying to contest the validity of the distribution of benefits. This was a private policy which was witnessed and my son was in good mental health. She does have 1 child by him who does not carry his last name and he is not named on the birth certificate. I set up an annuity under my name for my granddaughter. Nowhere on the policy were her or my granddaughter mentioned. Does she have any legal standing to contest this?

Asked on June 12, 2011 under Insurance Law, Indiana


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unless there was some some kind of fraud here, and this is not indicated by the facts that you have presented, there seems to be no grounds to challenge the payout. The fact is that insurance proceeds are not part of a person's estate when they die. They pass separately to the named beneficiary. And there is no provision in the law that an insurance beneficiary must be a person's child. Additionally, since so much time has passed, so too has the time in which z lawsuit can timely be filed. Accordingly, your granddaughter's mother appears to have no standing here regarding the payout.

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.

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