Texas Probate Litigation will be five years old in March. While I understand that estate, trust, and life insurance disputes are not topics that make for compelling reading for the average (sane) person, for those needing help in such situations, obtaining information is very important. In 2012, I had the pleasure of representing some very fine people in need of help. From all the way down in Colombia, to Houston, Austin, Waco, Dallas, Fort Worth, and all the way up to Minnesota. Most of their cases were resolved during the discovery stage, with one will contest settled just before trial. If 2012 was different […]
The Dallas Bar Association has published an article I wrote in the November edition of its Headnotes magazine. The article, entitled “Recognizing Life Insurance Beneficiary Disputes,” can be found at page 15 of this link.
What happens if someone pays life insurance premiums for decades, dies, but the beneficiary doesn’t make a claim? Too often, the insurance company gets a windfall. Certainly, that is the exception rather than the rule, but it happens often enough due to a variety of circumstances. In this age of computerization and digital records, insurance companies should be in position to periodically cross references death records with databases of policy holders. That is exactly what New York and other states are now urging. The Wall Street Journal summarizes the issue: Under a typical insurance contract, a beneficiary is expected to […]
The Los Angeles Times recently published an article regarding the increasing practice of life insurance companies to cite misrepresentations in applications as a basis to cancel or “rescind” coverage after the insured dies. According to the Times, the amount of money life insurers withheld from beneficiaries more than doubled over the last decade, to $372 million in 2009: “Insurers can dispute claims for a number of legitimate reasons — unpaid premiums, suicide, foul play by the beneficiary. But the No. 1 reason, accounting for about two thirds of disputes last year, is “material misrepresentation.” That’s failing to disclose information that […]