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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    3

    Default Contest of the Beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy

    My question involves insurance law for the state of: NEW JERSEY

    My half sister who works for a prominent attorney in NJ is trying to contest me as beneficiary of my grandfather's life insurance policy. She was executor of his estate and beneficiary up until about a month and half before my grandfather passed.

    My grandparents have lived with me for several years so my wife and I were their caregivers. My grandmother passed and about two weeks later my grandfather told me he wanted to make me beneficiary of the policy because something he didn't like came up between him and my sister(she remained executor). My grandfather was legally blind so I helped him call the insurance company to get the process started and he jumped on the phone to confirm that he wanted me to be the beneficiary. The paperwork for the change was received in the mail about a week later and because my grandfather was blind i filled out the paperwork and signed his name (don't have power of attorney).

    We received confirmation that i was the beneficiary and about two weeks later my grandfather passed away unexpectedly. I submitted the claim and about a week later i received a separate letter in the mail stating my half sister is contesting me as beneficiary. I called the insurance company and they said she asked for copies of the change forms with signatures, but the company said they don't release them its between them and the insured.

    The company told her she will need to provide court documents with the reason the beneficiary is being contested. My grandfather was of sound mind and they have the phone call recorded where he requested the change. What chance does my sister have of winning? What paperwork would she have to come up with to challenge it in court?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Im Being Contested As Beneficiary

    I would expect that you lose and she wins. Why would you have to sign the beneficiary form? He was surely capable of signing himself if he was of sound mind.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,485

    Default Re: Im Being Contested As Beneficiary

    It was extremely improper for you to sign for him when you were being made beneficiary. It should have been someone neutral. Hopefully, there was an independent witness? Of cousre, once she files the actual lawsuit, they can get those forms from the insurer and also depo/supoena you to testify about what you did.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,616

    Default Re: Im Being Contested As Beneficiary

    First, answer this question:

    You submitted the life insurance claim form.

    Why hasn't the life insurance company paid you yet?

    What did the claims person tell you or write to you about the claim?


    That's are critical questions and need answers before you can go any further.

    And I agree with flyingron that you might have a BIG problem having forged your grandfather's signature.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Im Being Contested As Beneficiary

    They didn't pay because the half sister has contested the change of beneficiary. It was in the letter op recieved from the insurance company.

    signing on behalf of another party, in that person's name, is not forging their signature. Of course if op did not have approval from the grandfather to sign on his behalf it would be forgery but that is the $64,000 question. Did he or didn't he forge his grandfathers signature.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Contest of the Beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy

    Quote Quoting ragjrnj
    View Post
    My grandfather was legally blind so I helped him call the insurance company to get the process started and he jumped on the phone to confirm that he wanted me to be the beneficiary.
    Quote Quoting ragjrnj
    My grandfather was of sound mind and they have the phone call recorded where he requested the change.
    They have an audio recording of the conversation that remains available? Have you or your half-sister obtained a copy? If not, why not? If so, is there any dispute as to whose voice is in the recording?
    Quote Quoting ragjrnj
    The paperwork for the change was received in the mail about a week later and because my grandfather was blind i filled out the paperwork and signed his name (don't have power of attorney).
    You signed his actual name, as if you were him, without any indication that he did not sign the document himself? You signed his name annotated, "By [my name], with permission"? Or something else?

    Do you have an established practice you can point to, whereby your grandfather never signed any documents after he became legally blind, but instead always authorized third parties to sign on his behalf? If so, were you always the person who signed?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Im Being Contested As Beneficiary

    He was blind and I always signed his name with his approval at doctors appointments, checks and whenever needed. He also approved the change via phone and it was recored by the company.

    No, I have not heard it yet, but was told every call is recorded by their customer service. As primary care giver I often signed for him with his approval when needed and always signed his name..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Im Being Contested As Beneficiary

    Quote Quoting ragjrnj
    View Post
    He was blind and I always signed his name with his approval at doctors appointments, checks and whenever needed. He also approved the change via phone and it was recored by the company.
    So you always signed, "{Grandpa}, by {your name} with permission"?
    Quote Quoting ragjrnj
    No, I have not heard it yet, but was told every call is recorded by their customer service.
    You had best get a copy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Im Being Contested As Beneficiary

    I may have jumped the gun a bit but you are still faced with a very difficult task.

    You need to contact the insurance company asap to request a copy of the recording or if rebuffed (quite possibly the case) to ensure they preserve the recording until you have use of the courts authority to demand a copy.


    You should also gather documents you signed in the same manner. If they are not available without a court's order, start a list of documents you need to get.

    You should also start a list of uninvolved third parties that have actually seen or heard your grandfather request you sign his name with his blessing.

    Unless you can prove this was common for you and it was with your grandfathers permission, you're likely to lose. Not only that but if it is determined you forged his signature, there could be a criminal investigation.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Im Being Contested As Beneficiary

    The policy is no longer being contested because of the recording of my grandfather requesting the change.

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