If you are involved in a life insurance beneficiary dispute

I routinely handle life insurance beneficiary interpleader suits in State and Federal courts throughout Texas. If I'm hired early enough, I can often get a favorable result before the insurance company files the interpleader.  But I'm often not contacted until a claimant has been served with the lawsuit.

Here are some general observations from my experience:

1)  Hire a lawyer experienced in handling life insurance beneficiary disputes.  I've seen heartbreaking examples of claimants either attempting to represent themselves pro se or hiring a lawyer who is not experienced in these disputes.  The issues can be much more complex than they may seem at first glance and often implicate both Texas and Federal law.  Some are essentially will contests under another guise.    

2) Getting mad at the insurance company is usually pointless.  Sure, it may seem obvious who should receive the benefits.  But the law does not require the insurance company to gamble.  The insurance company protects itself from competing claims by filing an interpleader.  And the law provides that the insurance company may recover its reasonable and necessary attorney's fees from the policy proceeds.

3) Filing a counter claim against the insurance company should only be done with great care and consideration.  Generally, all you are doing is eating away at the policy proceeds as the insurance company ends up getting its attorney's fees awarded.  

4) Work carefully with your lawyer to present the court with the legal and factual basis for why you should receive the policy benefits.  This may seem obvious. But I've seen claimants, generally with inexperienced counsel, who take for granted the superiority of their position and expend more time and energy fighting with the insurance company or over marginal issues.