1. 4330 POINTS
    Jerry Vanderzanden, CLU, ChFC
    Co-Founder, Coastal Financial Partners Group, California
    This is an legal question more than a life insurance question. It is not something upon which a life insurance professional can provide a reliable opinion. That said, as the life insurance policy is a legal contract, the insurance company will be obligated to pay the named primary beneficiary.

    Assuming the proceeds go to a named beneficiary rather than the estate, the proceeds are not normally subject to probate so it would be unlike challenging a will in probate.

    Ultimately, a challenge would likely be a matter for the courts so finding experienced legal help is critical.

    I am aware of a few examples where beneficiary designations have been challenged. The beneficiary designation might be demonstrated to be inconsistent with state law, especially elective or spousal share rules. Or, it might be demonstrated to not conform to other agreements such as split dollar agreements, divorce decrees, etc.
    Answered on May 6, 2013
  2. 1492 POINTS
    Jeff Davis
    Insurance Advisor, Lordship Insurance Services, California
    Anything can be contested. Will the contest be upheld? it will all depend on the circumstances surrounding the reason for it being contested.

    This is best answered from a legal professional as the insurance contract is a contract and if it were contested legal counsel may be consulted.

    Sometimes family members contest a beneficiary when they feel it was an error for that person to be named beneficiary.

    Overall beneficiaries have not had to deal with their desigantion as beneficiary to an insurance policy being contested.
    Answered on May 7, 2013
  3. 220 POINTS
    Stephen Rogers
    Self-employed Employee Benefits Provider, Upland, California
    Okay it is time for lawyer to answer this question, not an insurance agent.  

    With that disclaimer made, in my experience, I have heard of a beneficiary being contested.  One of my former clients had gotten a divorce and then remarried, having never informed me as to his change in marital status, no changes were ever made to his life policy.  He then suddenly passed away, and his new wife called me to file a claim on his policy.  I  realized then that she was not a named beneficiary, his ex-wife was.  Well, to make matters more interesting his ex-wife called and asked if the policy was still in force.  I helped the named beneficiary (ex-wife) file a claim for the death benefit.  His new wife told me that she was going to contest this in court and had a hired a lawyer. I notified the insurance company as to the problems, and they held off on paying the claim until a resolution was reached.  The case never made it to court and the ex-wife split the proceeds equally with the new wife.

    So does that mean that it can be contested?  At the time I was told by the Insurance company's attorney, that they could be, but that it was rarely done.  He also said that between a will and a beneficiary provision, a will was easier to break than a beneficiary provision on a life policy.
    Answered on May 7, 2013
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