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LIFE INSURANCE POLICY EXCLUSIONS AND BENEFICIARY

Many people own term life insurance policies which, like all policies, contain exclusions. Exclusions provide that under certain circumstances benefits are not payable. Often times there is confusion as to whether a certain fact situation involving a death would qualify as a “exclusion.” Insurance companies typically are quite quick to assert the benefit of an “exclusion.” However, often times there is room to argue that the exclusion would not apply and that the benefit should be payable. A circumstance, for instance, might be that a group life insurance policy (a policy provided through work) provides that an employee will not receive benefits if the death involves the employee driving while intoxicated. Such policies often require specific blood test types and blood test results. However, often, it is the case that not only the type of test that is existent and the result of that test do not clearly “exclude benefits.” Another common dispute in life insurance policies is who the beneficiary is. Often time’s beneficiary forms are filled out improperly or in a way that is unclear as to naming the beneficiary. If similar circumstances exist, please contact David at to discuss your case in greater detail. The attorneys at Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Wanezek & Jaekels law firm can help you today!

Tags: Employment Law Estate Planning Family Law Probate

DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS AND INHERITANCE RIGHTS

In 2009, the Wisconsin Legislature created a series of statutes which govern domestic partnerships. These statutes establish the procedure for the creation of a domestic partnership. Because of this, same sex domestic partnerships are now offered some of the protections and rights afforded to married couples. In addition to a variety of other rights and protections, same sex domestic partners gained many probate and inheritance rights.

To establish a same sex domestic partnership, five separate requirements must be met. First, each person entering into a domestic partnership must be of at least 18 years of age or older and capable of consenting to the partnership. Second, neither partner can be married or in a domestic partnership with someone else. Third, the two individuals must share a common residence, although both do not need title to it nor have it as their primary residence. Fourth, the partners cannot be second cousins or of a closer relationship. Finally they must both be of the same gender to enter into a same sex domestic partnership. After 30 days and with the proper documentation they can then file and become a domestic partnership.

Once a same sex domestic partnership is established, a surviving partner receives the benefits and protections of probate and inheritance enjoyed by married couples. They will be allowed a family allowance, access to select personal items, and assignment of the property interest in the property the domestic partners. When there is no will, the surviving partner will have rights similar to a surviving spouse. Failure to provide for a surviving same sex domestic partner in a will or similar instrument created before the partnership will still allow the surviving partner to receive an intestate share. However, should a domestic partnership be terminated, provision for a domestic partner in a will, trust, insurance contracts and other things will be revoked. Same sex domestic partners have gained many of the probate rights of married couples by the passage of this legislation.

Tags: Probate Estate Planning

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