COVID-19 Notice: In order to best serve you while doing our part to maximize health and safety, we continue to be available for telephone and Zoom video conferences, and documents can be prepared, reviewed, signed, and exchanged electronically. Call 646-561-9099 for your legal needs!


For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

Probate litigation to address beneficiary of man’s life insurance

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2019 | Probate |

When a person dies, especially unexpectedly, a number of conflicts can come about regarding the distribution of assets and other aspects of settling his or her estate. In some cases, beneficiary designations may come as a shock to the surviving family. If it appears that wrongdoing has occurred, probate litigation may be necessary to address the issues.

New York readers may be interested in a case that is currently underway in another state. Reports indicated that a man who was in the care of a group home died under natural but seemingly questionable circumstances that have led to suspicions of neglect. However, the case does not involve the possible negligence but instead focuses on the beneficiary of the man’s life insurance policy. The man’s uncle was believed to have been the beneficiary, but after the man’s death, it was discovered that the designation had been changed to the owner of the group home.

According to reports, the insurance company has filed a lawsuit against both the man’s uncle and the owner of the group home. The uncle maintains that he should receive the payout. The report indicated that while the man was still alive, a meeting regarding the policy took place with the man, his uncle and various group home personnel. The results of the meeting indicated that the man’s uncle should remain the beneficiary of the insurance policy. However, months later, the designation had been changed without the knowledge of the man’s family.

When surprise beneficiaries are named, it is not uncommon for family members to wonder whether undue influence resulted in such changes, especially when a person is in a vulnerable state. If New York residents worry that their loved ones’ assets may be going to the wrong people, they may want to determine whether they should take legal action. In some cases, probate litigation can help get to the bottom of serious concerns.