Life Insurance Interpleader Lawsuits
Interpleader cases are some of the more common types of life insurance disputes in Florida. They typically arise when a life insurance receives a claim, but is unsure if the claimant or someone else may be entitled to the life insurance benefits. To avoid having to pay twice if they mistakenly pay the wrong person, they have a legal option to deposit the money in the Court's registry, like a bank account, and sue the parties who may have a claim, called an Interpleader. Then, the parties can either work out a settlement of the money in the Court's registry or let a judge or jury decide who is entitled to the money.
Call me at 800-337-7755 for a free Florida life insurance interpleader lawsuit consultation.
How do Interpleader claims typically arise?
Divorce Life Insurance Claims - A recent change in Florida's divorce law makes a divorcee deemed to predecease their ex-spouse for purposes of life insurance, unless certain specific requirements are met. This means that, for example, a husband who had a life insurance policy listing his wife as beneficiary and his kids as contingent beneficiary would have his policy go to his kids if he gets divorced, unless a provision is made in the marital settlement agreement or other specific requirements are met.
The statute, though, may be subject to constitutional challenges both on its face and as applied. There are legal grounds to challenge the statute. If you were an ex-spouse still on a policy, you may still have a claim.
Many life insurance companies have been filing Interpleader actions against an ex-spouse to nullify any claim they might have. When there is no other beneficiary, the life insurance company still tries to skip the ex-spouse and give the proceeds to the Estate of the person who died. This is true even where the ex-spouse continues paying the premiums after the divorce. These may be challenged and should be addressed by a Florida life insurance attorney.
Last Minute Beneficiary Changes - While policy owners generally have a right to change a beneficiary at any time, that rule is not absolute. Typically, any changes must be free of undue influence and duress, and the owner must have capacity at the time of the change. These Interpleader actions may arise between children of the policy owner and a new spouse or girlfriend who the owner changed to as the beneficiary. They may also include a change to a beneficiary who is a friend or caregiver.
Special care should go into last minute beneficiary changes. As people age or become ill, undue influence may arise to get a policy owner to change the beneficiary. They may also lose their faculties and not have the mental capacity to fully understand what changes they are making.
If you were the beneficiary and were taken off within a few months of a person passing away, or even years prior if the person did not have capacity, you may be entitled to the policy benefits.
What Can I Do If I Was Taken Off A Policy?
If the insured died and you made a life insurance claim in Florida, and found out you are not the listed beneficiary, speak with a FL life insurance lawyer as soon as possible. Also, let the insurance company know you are disputing their decision. This could help force an Interpleader action to preserve the money.
Life insurance is driven by both contracts and Florida Statutes. Failure to comply with certain contract provisions or Statutes could nullify any attempted changes to the policy or beneficiary. If you were denied benefits or sued in an Interpleader lawsuit, contact a life insurance attorney immediately. You may have a limited time to answer the lawsuit or your benefits may be denied forever.
Where Is An Interpleader Lawsuit Filed?
Since many life insurance companies who do business in Florida are based out of state, they will often file an Interpleader lawsuit in a US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Middle District or Northern District when the beneficiaries are all based in Florida and the amount of the benefits are more than $75,000.00. If the amount is less than $75,000.00, or the company and at least one beneficiary are based in Florida, the Interpleader lawsuit is often brought in a Florida State Court.
Questions? Call us today for a free life insurance question consultation.
We are happy to look into your case if you have been sued in an Interpleader or have someone trying to make a claim to benefits you believe you are entitled to. We handle most cases on a contingency basis which means you don't have to pay any retainer or out of pocket money to us. We only get paid if you recover money. Otherwise, we waive all fees and costs.
Call a life insurance attorney in Florida today at the Law Offices of Jason Turchin at 800-337-7755 for a free consultation or feel free to chat with us or submit your information online and we can follow up.
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