No need to Inform the Insurer of the change of Beneficiary!

From now on, it is no longer essential to inform your beneficiary change insurer of his life insurance policy. It therefore becomes possible to modify by testamentary way the name of the beneficiary case of death, without first informing his insurance company. The Court of Cassation specifies that only the most recent decision counts regardless of the form of the decision. A recent case brought before the Court of Cassation has made it possible to arrive at this clarification. Avisofi, your insurance broker deciphers for you what are the below this judicial decision and what that change is likely to entail.

Can the subscriber of a life insurance contract change the name of the beneficiary by will?

Following a much talked about court case, the Court of Cassation comes to provide details about the beneficiary name change of a life insurance contract.

The Insurance Code provides that the beneficiary clause of a life insurance contract can be modified in the event of death by an amendment to the contract. Amendments are particularly used in insurance law. They designate a written agreement which is essential as an accessory to the main contract. This agreement has the effect of modifying the terms and conditions of commitments present in the original contract.

The High Court explains in its decision that the beneficiary can also be changed through a testament. This applies even if the initial beneficiary has not expressed his acceptance.

In this case, a father had subscribed to a life insurance contract and had designated his wife as beneficiary of the sums saved in the event of death. Despite this, he had finally modified his choice by will in order to designate his son as the beneficiary of the agreement. After his death, his wife and his son argued over the sums. Moreover, the change had not been notified by the notary to the insurer. The latter had therefore not taken cognizance of this change and had transferred the sums to the wife of the deceased. Following this situation, a dispute then arose between these two protagonists.

The Court of Cassation therefore ruled that the value of the will was sufficient for the change of the beneficiary of the life insurance contract to be pronounced. And this, regardless of the fact that the insurer had not been informed.

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Beneficiary of life insurance: The Court of Cassation specifies that the most recent decision counts

With regard to the change of beneficiary, the Court of Cassation therefore specified in its judgment that only the most recent decision counted. And this is regardless of the form in which the decision was taken. It therefore admitted the validity of the will and specified that the beneficiary could be modified or substituted by will.

Thus, this change does not necessarily have to be notified to the insurer, although the latter is a party to the contract. In this case, the wife of the deceased was therefore forced to return the sums unduly received to the son of the deceaseddesignated by will.