No Undue Influence in Beneficiary Designation

Dead Man’s Act applies to bar testimony of beneficiaries claiming interest in annuity contract, and was not waived by allegations by executor that beneficiaries had used undue influence over the decedent.  Applying principles similar to those that apply to wills, the court found that there was a presumption of validity in the beneficiary designation, that the burden was on the executor to show elements of undue influence, and that the executor failed to introduce evidence of weakened intellect.  Jackson Nat’l Life Insur. V. John Heyser et al., 4 Fid.Rep.3d 29 (U.S.D.C. E.D. Pa 2014).

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