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Insurance and a Secondary Beneficiary

Discussion in 'Life Insurance, Annuities & Other' started by nikkinmiss, Jul 20, 2007.

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  1. nikkinmiss

    nikkinmiss Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I live in Mississippi, I have tried and have not been able to hire a lawyer that will help me.
    My father was killed by his wife and she has been convicted of manslaughter, But is not in Jail due to being out on appeal bond. There are insurance policies (total amounts $375.000) that named his wife as the primary beneficiary and named her son as the successor. Doing my own research I have found that she is disqualified from collecting the Policy proceeds at least I think she is but what I am looking for is anything that can prevent Her son from collecting due to several reasons. One being that he is just going to turn around and give the money to his mother/Killer. Also During the trail there was some testimony given about how there were conflicts over who actually signed the policy, I am in the process of obtaining the part of the testimony via transcripts from the trail.
    I need any information that would prevent him from collecting under Slayer's Statute. or anything else that may help me. I found a few articles on this subject but nothing case specific. As I understand it Slayer's Statute or Rule barrs the slayer from benifiting from their own wrong doing. The article states
    "In some jurisdictions, the beneficiary has been permitted to share in the proceeds where he or she receives them as heir of the insured's estate. Increasingly, however, the beneficiary who unlawfully kills the insured has been disqualified because "it is not personal to him, but bars anyone claiming as the successor to the rights of the beneficiary." Some Courts have decided that the best way to decide this issue and be certain that the murderer does not benefit is to disqualify all the murderer's relatives.
    This rule avoids a result with turns the funds over to the killer's relative who "by gift, devise or intestacy, would have the power to place all or part of those funds back in the [killers hands]." Article by Gary Schuman LIFE INSURANCE AND THE HOMICIDAL BENEFICIARY Taken from page 12 of 35
    I found this article on the internet and have not been able to find anything else that may help me.
    In this case the Insurance Company has filed an interpleader and paid the money into the court system and I have recieved a Summons. In my Summons I was required to file a response within 30 days of the date of issue. I had no idea how to respond but I did however do the best I could on my own and responded within the 30 days. the lawyers that I have consulted have told me that this is a long shot and not worth their time. I understand this to a degree but however it is worth my time and any money that I have to spend to do whatever I can to stop this. If anyone knows anywhere else for me to look I would greatly appreciate it. Also it has been asked of me and I do not know the answer. Can a secondary or Successor of the primary Beneficiary collect if the Primary is still alive?
    Oh and by the way The Primary Beneficiary also relinquished all rights to the Insurance policies after her conviction.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007
  2. calalily

    calalily New Member

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    If the second beneficiary was not involved in the death of your father than they will be able to collect as there doesn't seem to be a legal precedent stating otherwise. And yes, the secondary may collect if the primary is alive and relinguished their rights. You may try and contact the district attorney who tried the case and see if they can help you. Have you talked to the insurance company?
     
  3. nikkinmiss

    nikkinmiss Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well right after the killer was indited the insurance company called me and told me that should my step mother be convicted in the murder then me, my brother and my sister would be considered next of kin. Thats what I don't understand if there was already a secondary beneficiary on the policy then why did they even call me to start with. Since then I have tried to call and talk to the same lady that called me but they refused to talk to me because I am not a beneficiary. The only hope that I have is if I get the court transcripts and find where there was some conflict over who signed my fathers policy, I was half nuts during the trail and don't recall exactly what was said but it was something about my father being out of town on business when the policy was signed and my step mother signed instead of him. The secondary beneficiary is married to a lawyer that works for some of the top insurance lawyers in this state, I am affraid that some strings may have been pulled. I may be wrong but I have a bad feeling about it. As I said why would the insurance company call me and tell me that if there was already a secondary beneficiary also right before they decided not to talk to me the insurance company sent me a letter requesting the names of my Fathers children and social security numbers. I also don't understand if there was a secondary beneificary on the policy to start with then why hasn't the insurance company just paid out to him instead of filing an interpleader and dragging this through court, I mean if he is rightfully intitled then why not just pay him. OH and thank you for your reply this has been driving me nuts and the fact that you tried to help me is very much appreciated.
     
  4. calalily

    calalily New Member

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    You still may want to try and talk to the district attorney especially if the policy had your dad's signaure forged and it involves the woman who killed him. If he/she can't help maybe he/she can direct you to someone who can. Did your dad have a will? You and your siblings may have other entitlements and if not can contest the will maybe? Did you actually see the insurance policy? Was there a previous policy to this one that listed you and your siblings and do you have a copy of it (good way to check signature)? Maybe the insurance company won't talk to you because they would be in trouble for the forged signature or are complicit; bring that up to the DA. If he had a will see if it was filed and you can request a copy. I can't believe a lawyer won't take your case if you're willing to pay them or was it contingency based?
     
  5. nikkinmiss

    nikkinmiss Law Topic Starter New Member

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    as far as I know he did have a will but named his wife as sole beneificiary, My father was not a rich man but he was also not a poor man, The slayer rule indicates that a killer should not be inriched or profit from their own wrong doing but I can sure tell you this his home was sold and all of his things were sold and used to pay for her defense and it seems that there is nothing I can do about it. trying to hire a lawyer is like banging my head against a brick wall. I am not sure but I think that the son of the killer was appointed as executor of the estate Whatever that means. I really wish now I had stayed in school and maybe became a lawyer or paralegal then at least I would be able to help myself. I will contact the DA's office and see if there is some way they can help me.
    also I have a copy of the insurance policy but it has the beneificary typed in not written in, I have gone over and over the documents and there is some differences in the signatures but its very slight. The first policy was taken out in Jan 2002 for $175.000 then in April of 2003 another policy was taken out for $200.000 The second policy doesn't assign anyone as beneficaries but there is an ammendment dated Sept 2003 that has the secondary's name typed on it but that particular page isn't signed it is signed two pages over in the contract and that is the signature that I am having a problem with. and my dad was killed in dec 2003
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2007

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