Can the beneficiary named on a life insurance policy be changed by a court?

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Asked July 6, 2010

1 Answer


Under the definition of law, the court system has the power to change the beneficiary on a life insurance policy. With that power, establishing the beneficiary of some cases, such as when the beneficiary dies simultaneously, would be extremely difficult to resolve. Courts are also the method of settling disputes over who the beneficiary will be. In this case, anyone who challenges the beneficiaries in a life insurance claim is petitioning the court to change the policy. The court has the power to specify a person to change their own beneficiaries, but very little power to enforce such actions. This recourse may be used on very rare occasions, but most courts avoid such intrusion into civil affairs.

A life insurance policy can be challenged, at which time the insurance company would refer the matter to the court system. In this situation, the estate remains "open," accruing taxes and fees. Add to that the continuing costs of a court dispute, and the potential gains from a life insurance policy can be whittled away to nothing very quickly. To avoid this, most cases are referred to non-partial mediation, avoiding the high costs of the court system while reaching an amicable solution for all parties.

Yes, the court can change the beneficiary on a life insurance policy, but they will only do so in cases where there is compulsive evidence that such a change would be in the best interest of concerned parties, usually dependent children or relatives.

Answered July 6, 2010 by Anonymous

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