Can a Power of Attorney change the beneficiary to be payable to them?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a Power of Attorney change the beneficiary to be payable to them?

My daughter’s grandmother has been diagnosed with an illness that they state she may expire within the next week. The insurance policy has been designated to be payable to her Grandson. One of the granddaughter’s has taken upon the task as Power of Attorney and wants to change the beneficiary to herself and states she will give him what’s left after the funeral cost. Is this legal

Asked on October 18, 2017 under Estate Planning, Michigan


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the situation.  State law will dictate and it really will be a good idea for you to contact a local attorney.  Generally speaking, a POA will be given various powers as per the docuement signed.  However, many insruance companies will not allow a POA to change the beneficiary designation.  Think about it: the liability for the company would be too great.  I would speak with a lawyer in your area asap.  Good luck.  

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