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Ask the Life Insurance Expert

We found out recently that my husband’s grandmother left this world with a life insurance policy in my husband’s name. The paperwork is inside a lockbox that my husband’s mom has control over. She has not gone into the safe deposit box as of yet. She is waiting until she is sure that her brothers won’t contest. How are my husband and I assured that he will get the money?

What's there to contest? If your husband is named as the sole beneficiary on the policy, the insurance company is legally bound to pay him and only him.

Contesting a beneficiary is extremely difficult. Someone would have to prove fraud of some type -- say, a person with dementia being coerced into naming a particular beneficiary. But that doesn't sound like the case here.

Your mother-in-law's misunderstanding of the life insurance claims process is holding up your husband's rightful claim to the death benefit. She should immediately turn over the policy to him so that he can make his claim.

If her brothers want to fuss, they won't get very far with the insurance company if they're not named as beneficiaries.

Last updated: Oct. 16, 2012