Do you know who the beneficiary of your life insurance, 401K or Thrift Savings Plan is? Good. But not everyone can recall who they designated 20 years ago, and often times that precise issue must be litigated to be resolved.
Many people forget to update their beneficiary designations to remove an ex-spouse or to designate a new spouse. In some instances, rather than forgetting to update a designation, a designation may be updated in contravention of a property settlement agreement that requires insurance to be maintained for a child or ex-spouse. These types of actions and omissions often leads to litigation between the decedent’s estate and an ex-spouse or intended beneficiary. Many times when such disputes arise, the companies maintaining the proceeds will interplead, or pay over, the funds to a court of competent jurisdiction and file a lawsuit which asks the Court to determine the correct beneficiary.
The law in this area is robust and varies widely based upon the type of benefit or policy, and the interplay between state law and federal law. We have extensively litigated these issues in state and federal courts all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Should you find yourself in such a dispute, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Based upon our experience in this area of the law, we are confident that we have the expertise to guide you through your particular dispute.