Interpleader cases are on the rise today where there are disputes over benefits involved in life insurance policies. When an insured person wishes to change the beneficiaries or was divorced, there is a possibility that the dependents will fight for the benefits after the insured dies.
What Happens When A Insurance Company Denies Paying The Benefits?
There are many reasons that a life insurance company can deny paying benefits such as when there is a disagreement in the family, or there is material misrepresentation on the policy application. An attorney plays a great role in finding out if the denial was wrong or right. Your attorney should conduct the necessary research and assess the rights of those involved.
If the case involves more than one person making a claim to the same policy, the life insurance company may opt to file an Interpleader with the Court. This is where they deposit the benefits with the Court and sue both claimants, forcing the claimants to fight over the benefits in Court.
Can An Interpleader Attorney Work On A Contingency Fee?
Yes. A professional interpleader attorney may handle your case on a contingency fee. This means that as the victim, you do not pay the attorney's fees or costs of litigation out of pocket. Once the case is resolved, your attorney would get paid out of the settlement instead of having to pay a retainer or money every month to help you.
What Are Common Scenarios Where A Life Insurance Interpleader Case May Be Filed?
The insurance company files an interpleader case for various reasons. Some of the more common interpleader cases are:
Divorced beneficiary - A recent change in Alabama's divorce statute deems a divorced beneficiary as having died before the insured for purposes of life insurance beneficiary determination. There are some exceptions to this. The insurance company may not want to risk being wrong, and often sues the divorced spouse and the contingent beneficiary or estate of the insured in an interpleader lawsuit. It is important to have an experienced interpleader attorney to understand the issues and best guide your case.
Beneficiary changes - When a beneficiary is changed as a result of undue influence, lack of capacity of the insured when the change was made, or if the beneficiary change was not done properly, there may be more than one claim made to the policy. A life insurance company will often file an interpleader against all possible claimants.
The insured can play a big role in preventing interpleader cases involving beneficiaries after he or she dies. The insured can have certain estate planning documents done to assist with making sure the changes are proper, or can have specific language placed in a marital settlement agreement.