Ask a Business Lawyer. Get Business Law Questions Answered ASAP.
If the beneficiary was the insured, then the benefit would be distributed to the beneficiary's estate, and as spouse, you would receive some or all of the benefit, based upon whether there are surviving children who are not issue of your marriage, and/or surviving parents.
Basically, you would get a minimum of 1/3 of the insurance proceeds, and a maximum of 100%.
You would have had a claim of negligence against the insurer, if your spouse had actually died, and you did not receive 100% of the benefit. It is fundamental in a negligence action that you cannot obtain compensation for damages that you did not actually suffer.
Therefore, if you have fixed the beneficiary designation now, and your spouse did not die, then you have no claim.
Hope this helps.
Terms and Conditions: By your continuing in this conversation with me, or by your clicking “Accept”, you are expressly agreeing to all of the following: (1) our communication is for entertainment purposes only; (2) you are not consulting me in my professional capacity as an attorney; (3) you do not seek to establish an attorney-client relationship with me, nor do I with you; (4) you will not rely on anything I say and you will obtain appropriate legal counsel via a traditional/office consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where your legal issue arises (and you may not use our communication to avoid taxpayer penalties imposed by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury); (5) by communicating with me in this public forum you are irrevocably waiving any right to privacy, confidentiality and attorney-client privilege concerning the matters discussed. You further separately declare that any payment made by you is not consideration for this contract, nor offered for any services rendered by me on your behalf, but rather is made in genuine admiration and respect for my desire to help others. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, then you must advise me immediately.
The problem is that once your spouse became the owner, any change to the policy is her sole right to make.The fact that she did not change the policy since issuance, could be evidence of her intent to keep the policy in that form. The insurance company is balancing its risk. If it makes the change and your spouse doesn't like it, then she can sue for interference with the property. If the insurer doesn't make the change and you are injured upon your spouse's deah, then you can sue for negligence.
Apparently, the insurer views its risk greater with your spouse than with you -- otherwise, it would change the policy.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).