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Virginia Injury & Will Contest Attorneys

Can a Beneficiary Designation Be Challenged?


Can a Beneficiary Designation Be Challenged?

When an account owner or policyholder dies and their beneficiary designation is revealed, it is not unusual for some tricky questions to arise - and with them, the possibility for significant arguments and disagreements.

● What if the designated beneficiary for a life insurance policy is someone the decedent used to be married to, but now they are divorced and haven't talked in years?

● What happens if the life insurance policy was changed in the last few months of a decedent's life to provide significant benefits to a new caregiver or another person they met right before they died?

● What if the actual recipient of the securities account does not live up to the wishes a decedent has repeatedly expressed?

● What if a child benefits from a parent's CD or a significant brokerage account while their sibling is left out?

There are more of these situations than you might think. Keep in mind that the above scenarios can vary significantly by insurance company, bank, or financial institution.

How Do These Situations Occur?

In some cases, problems can arise due to human error. Many people do not give the beneficiary designations the consideration they deserve when opening an account or creating a new policy. Others may forget to or may be reluctant to update their accounts and policies when circumstances change, or they may not consider how beneficiary designations fit into their overall estate plan.

What Can You Do?

In general, to challenge a beneficiary designation, you must have legal grounds to do so.

You must provide evidence that the deceased person's designation was the product of one or more of the following:

● Improper execution

● Lack of capacity

● Undue influence or duress

● Fraud

● Forgery

If you believe that you have reasons to challenge a beneficiary designation, it is vital that you act quickly. You should contact the offices of Obenshain Law Group for a consultation with our experienced and skilled team.

Call our office today at to schedule your free consultation.