Changing beneficiary on the sly...

Here's my situation: I have a married couple, both of whom are in management at my organization. They come in together and request beneficiary change forms for their insurance coverages (life, health, etc.), go home, fill them out and return them together naming each other as 100% beneficiary. Husband comes back later that day and tells my assistant to shred his paperwork and leave his wife's alone. She complies with the request, doesn't inform the wife and neglects to tell me until 6 months later. I would like:
1. To know if this violates any legal or ethical standards
2. What you would do if faced with this scenario
3. Any other suggestions on dealing with this


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I do not think that an employee's choice of beneficiary is of any concern to the company. Unless of course, they named me. :D
  • Actually, there may be some serious implications, depending on your state's statutes. In Missouri, your spouse is required to be your be your beneficiary unless you have a formal waiver signed by your spouse.

    Regardless of your state law on the subject, you have an employee who has intentionally deceived his wife in a very important matter, and enlisted another employee's assistance to carry out the deception. He cannot be trusted by his wife, and I would venture to say he cannot be trusted by you or the company.
  • First: I question if your assistant did the right thing. You had an original form, then you had a replacement form. If the husband wanted to shred the replacement form, he needed to say it in writing. Did he? It seems to me if he didn't want the replacement form used, he needed to complete a 3rd form (replacing the replacement form).

    Second: How do you know for sure that the spouse is unaware? Perhaps they had a private conversation whereby they decided the husband should not have replaced his paperwork. Either way, it is not your business. Your concern at this point is what happens if the husband dies and the wife can swear in court that they gave you new paperwork and you don't have any written proof that he decided to change things?

    If you have everything in writing, and you are certain the spouse has had the wool pulled over her eyes (and you are not just speculating), then you have a dishonest employee on your hands. Watch him. This person is not trustworthy and sooner or later he will cause your company harm.

    Good luck!

  • [FONT=Trebuchet MS]You know, Nae[SIZE=1]2[/SIZE], you and I agree waaay too often.[/FONT]
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