1. 4470 POINTS
    Brandon RobertsPRO
    Owner, The Insurance Pro Blog,
    Traditionally one cannot contest the beneficiary of a life insurance contract.  The beneficiary designation is chosen by the contract owner and can only be changed by the contract owner.  The contract is a private arrangement between the insured and the insurance company and the chosen beneficiary is up to the owner.
    Answered on August 24, 2013
  2. 63333 POINTS
    Peggy Mace, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®PRO
    CEO, Outlook Life, Inc, Most of the U.S.
    To contest a life insurance beneficiary, you must hire legal representation and prepare to be in for a long haul. It is unusual that the court will side with the one contesting the beneficiary. However, if you can prove that a major life event occurred and that the policy owner neglected to make the beneficiary change, sometimes the challenge will work. Some are able to use arbitration to settle such disputes. It is easier to contest a beneficiary if the beneficiary has not financial interest with the policy owner.
    Answered on September 15, 2013
  3. 7479 POINTS
    Steve KobrinPRO
    President, The Firm of Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF, 6-05 Saddle River Rd #103, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
    Get a lawyer, because odds are you will need a court order to force the change.

    The job of the life insurance company is to honor the contract with the policy owner. The policy owner has control and so gets to designate the beneficiary.
    At the time of application, the company makes sure the beneficiary has insurable interest. Is he or she a family member? Business partner? Charitable recipient?
    People with a financial dependence on the insured qualify as beneficiaries.

    In addition, the processes of prequalification and underwriting are pretty effective in confirming the insured and policy owners are in the right frame of mind to make major financial decisions. No company wants to enter into a legal agreement with another party who is not competent.

    So these life insurance contracts could be considered pretty solid.

    Nonetheless, is it possible that there was some kind of extraneous pressure or personal problem that resulted in a bad decision by the policyholder? Sure. You would have to prove that. And that, of course, it would take time and money.

    I think pretty valid challenges could conceivably be made. Divorce, remarriage, adoption. Birth of a child. Death of a spouse. All these events could show that one family member was more dependent on the insured than the other. And entitled to the insurance benefit.

    Perhaps the policyholder was indeed ill, or under severe life stress. Doctors may have to be called upon. Therapists? Business associates? I think you can get an idea of just how much work you would have to put into contesting the beneficiary designation on the policy.

    Make sure it is worth it.
    Answered on September 21, 2015
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