Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Virginia

can the children contest an insurance policy?

My father recently died and his life insurane policy has his wife as a beneficiery,is it possible for his 2 blood children to contest this? Are we entitled to a portion of this? Also he stated to his wife just before his death that she was to split the policy with his children,(2 other people are aware of this)is that resputable in court? Basically is it worth persuing?

Asked on 2/28/01, 8:36 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Wilson Michael T. Wilson, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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Re: can the children contest an insurance policy?

While insurance proceeds are figured in the size of an estate for tax purposes, it is a general principle that insurance goes directly to the named beneficiary and passes outside of the provisions of a will. The ploicyholder had the power to name the beneficiary. If he wanted to make provisions for other parties to share in the proceeds of the policy it was his responsibility to change the identified beneficiary. A challenge to this will probably not be successful.

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4/24/01, 8:02 am
Paul B. Ward Law Offices of Paul B. Ward
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Re: can the children contest an insurance policy?

I concur with Mr. Wilson, perhaps a bit more emphatically, by stating the answers to your questions are, "No, no, no and no."

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4/24/01, 9:20 am
Randy Masters The Law Office of Randy Masters
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Re: can the children contest an insurance policy?

It's hard enough to contest a will, but it would be even harder to contest an insurance policy. An insurance policy is a contract. He contracted with the insurance company for his wife to be the sole beneficiary. If he really wanted his kids to receive half of the policy, he should have put them down as named beneficiaries, instead of saying to her, "Well, it's my desire for you to share with them half of your proceeds." At the point that she received the insurance proceeds, she was free to do with them whatever she wished, no matter what his hopes were.

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4/24/01, 11:43 am

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