Can my son’s ex-girlfriend contest his Will and the designation of beneficiary on his life insurance policy?

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Can my son’s ex-girlfriend contest his Will and the designation of beneficiary on his life insurance policy?

My son died unexpectedly 5 months ago. He and his ex-girlfriend had been apart for several months and no chance of reconciling when he died. The break-up was very bitter and a lot of hurt on both sides. I recently received a letter from his life isurer stating she is contesting the beneficiary designation, which of course is me. She refuses to return any of my calls or to speak with me. Does she have any legal rights to do this? My son died with No children, Never married. And named me as his only beneficiary. Probate was closed last month naming me as executor to his estate.

Asked on August 30, 2012 under Estate Planning, Nevada

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry this is happening to you.  I don't know what grounds the ex-girlfriend would have to contest either the will or the life insurance.  In Florida she would have no right to "take against the will," and I cannot imagine she would have such a right in any other state. 

You should ask the insurance company to provide documentation of the ex-girlfriend's basis for contesting the beneficiary designation and their position on the matter.  You need to know the grounds before you can assess whether this is a problem or not.  You may be able to work it out with the insurance company but, if not, consult an insurance lawyer - this kind of claim is called a "first party" insurance claim.  Florida has statutes that govern these claims, and the statutes allow the claimant (you) to collect attorney's fees if the insurance company should have paid but did not.

If the ex-girlfriend wants to contest your son's will, she will have to hire a lawyer and file a claim in the Estate.  This is never easy, and I doubt she will do it.  I doubt the insurance company will pay her either, but they may try to avoid paying at all by using the excuse that the ex-girlfriend is contesting the matter.

Good luck.


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