Understanding Beneficiary Designation Disputes
Beneficiary designations are a common component of estate planning. They can allow for the transfer of assets without probate. However, there will be occasions where beneficiary designation disputes occur and documents are contested. Lucé Evans Law works with individuals in McKinney and across North Texas when these types of estate disputes arise.
What Is Beneficiary Designation?
A beneficiary designation allows for the transfer of certain assets after death without requiring a will. These financial assets include life insurance policies, retirement accounts, securities accounts and checking and savings accounts. For many families, these assets could account for a significant amount of an estate.
When Does a Beneficiary Designation Dispute Occur?
Disputes may arise based on a claim of undue influence, fraud, or the mental acuity of the estate owner. Additionally, documents are often signed during a marriage but not updated after the divorce. The experienced attorneys at Lucé Evans Law can guide you through the often complex process of disputing a beneficiary designation, and defend your right to an inheritance.
Examples of Beneficiary Designation Disputes
There are many scenarios that can lead to a beneficiary designation dispute. For example, insurance companies and financial institutions can make mistakes in updating or sending paperwork. Identifying these types of issues requires analysis of the documentation. Pre-divorce designations are a common issue, as a former spouse may still be entitled to a retirement account and other assets if there was no amendment during the divorce.
Most beneficiary designation disputes fall into two categories – an issue related to documentation or a decision made when the decedent was not of sound mind. At Lucé Evans Law, our experience in these matters ensures we can successfully defend the wishes of the decedent.
Our attorneys will take the time to understand your legal issues and offer advice related to your estate disputes. Other types of estate disputes we help with include power of attorney disputes and real estate inheritance.
Common Questions About Beneficiary Designation Disputes
Does an insurance or financial company decide who receives assets in a beneficiary designation dispute?
Companies usually encourage the resolution of a dispute through negotiation. If this is not possible, the matter will need to be decided by the courts.
Coercion and undue influence are common reasons for changes being made during old age. Working with the attorneys at Lucé Evans Law, we can effectively challenge the changes to a beneficiary designation and uphold the wishes of the decedent.
Under normal circumstances, a beneficiary designation will override the will. However, we can mount a legal challenge if there are grounds to believe the asset owner intended the will to take precedence.