Ex-girlfriend receives deck hand's life insurance rather than wife
James Williams died in 2009 with $280,000.00 of life insurance. In 1995, he had filled out a beneficiary designation mis-identifying his then-girlfriend, Dorothy Williams, as his "wife" and providing for the benefits to be paid to her. He never married Williams. One year later, however, he married Betty Williams and filled out a new form identifying his new bride as the beneficiary. Although he printed his name at the bottom of the 1996 form, as required, and checked the box that he had signed the form in the presence of witnesses, he did not actually write his name in cursive on the form. On the basis of this omission, one hundred percent of the proceeds of James' life insurance went to the Estate of his former girl-friend and nothing went to his wife of 13 years. That outcome hardly qualifies as "justice" and cries out for some form of legislative, regulatory or judicial reevaluation. The Sixth Circuit case is entitled Larry Bonner v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.