If my wife was not mentally competent to change the beneficiary of herlife insurance policy, what can be done?

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If my wife was not mentally competent to change the beneficiary of herlife insurance policy, what can be done?

My wife was under treatment for bone cancer and had Hypercalcemia which has symptoms of dementia, confusion, personality change and memory loss. My brother-in-law was named the beneficiary right at this same time. I did not learn of this until 2 weeks after my wife’s passing. I think she was coerced or unduly influenced to do the beneficiary change while in a state of mental incompetence. The brother-in-law is attempting to use return of the life proceeds to have me agree to do other things not in the Will regarding certain other assets. He is named executor of my wife’s Will.

Asked on March 22, 2011 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to immediately contact an estate planning attorney to help you challenge this matter in court.  Simply indicating the symptoms include dementia and memory loss are sufficient to automatically equate to mental incompetence. You need to present doctor's notes, nurses as witnesses and you need proof that your brother in law is attempting to do things that are not within the intent of the will. At the very least, you might be able to get him removed as the executor due to the breach of his fiduciary responsibility to ensure her last wishes are brough to fruition. At the very most, you may be able to undue the beneficiary designation for it to go back to a previous beneficiary designation (if you) or if no one had ever been named, have it go through probate or the residuary clause of the will.


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