Legal Question in Insurance Law in New Jersey

Extremely long story short...I am the former wife & designate beneficiary on my ex-spouses group life insurance policy & pension plans. We were married in 1999 & divorced in 2003. Prior to getting married I was the beneficiary on his other policies from employers. This particular one was obtained in 1999 & I have been the beneficiary on file from day one. After my ex's passing in 2007, I contacted his employer to start the claims process. At that time I was informed that his sister called before he died and had contested his designation. One month before his death she was appointed a his "limited guardian" due the fact he was incapacitated. When appointed she sent the employer a new & incomplete designation form naming his estate. The employer said they had it in his file but never made the change because she was only granted "limited guardianship" & there was not an additional court order specifically authorizing her to make such achange. Again since I initiated this claim in 2007, I have been ignored, lied to, shuffled from person to person, department to department always getting the say answer...sorry for the delay, I should have an answer for you within the next week.

Same issue but a whole bother story...

I recently received a copy of a check, the insurance company deposited into the NJ state trust fund department. Apparently in August 2001 they obtained a court order allowing them to do so. Unsuccessful to date, I have called the trust fund department, the employer, the insurance company, ERISA, the court records department, surrogates office, the law clerk & the judges chambers for the status & update on this case or any guidance that could be provided. Am I contracting the proper entities? As the former spouse & designated beneficiary, on file at the time of death, what law, statues, regulations, etc protect my right concerning the legalities thus far. More importantly, disheartened & discouraged by the lack of assistance from all I have contacted to date, who do I seek out for support in this matter?


Left in the Dark

Asked on 2/29/12, 12:15 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Barry Kozyra Kozyra & Hartz, LLC

There are statutes that would affect (and sharply limit) your legal rights. [You did not mention whether there was any litigation pending to determine who gets what.] This is an extremely fact sensitive problem that should be addressed with an attorney to determine your rights, if any, to the proceeds that you are seeking.

We have a number of lawyers here who could assist you. Please call for an appointment if you are interested.

Disclaimer: Your question and any response given are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The response given is not intended to be relied upon by you or anyone else as it is based only on the limited information which you have provided. Other information is needed before advice can be given including facts which you have not supplied which may change the response to your question. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to assess your legal rights so as not to prejudice yourself.

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Answered on 2/29/12, 6:49 am

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