Chapter 11 Richland College Donee Beneficiary and Question of Law Paper –

Business Finance

Please do you case in semi-outline form, using the following headings.

I. Facts – What happened?

II. Issue – What is the question of law? (one simple sentence) All the information you want to put here usually belongs under defense.

III. Holding – What is your decision?
IV. Reasoning – What principles of law did you base your decision on?

Case 1 – Chapter 11

Helen, age 17, wanted to buy a motorcycle. She did not have the money to pay cash but persuaded the dealer to sell a cycle to her on credit. The dealer did so partly because Helen said that she was 22 and showed the dealer an identification card that falsely stated her age as 22. Helen drove the motorcycle away. A few days later, she damaged it and then returned it to the dealer and stated that she voided the contract because she was a minor. The dealer said that she could not do so because (a) she had misrepresented her age and (b) the motorcycle was damaged. Can she void the contract?

Sample Case

I. Facts – What happened?

In this case study, Helen had passed away and had left her niece as the beneficiary to her death. Unfortunately, the intended beneficiary of Helen’s niece had gone unnoticed for a year’s time due to the paperwork being “lost” in Helen’s house. After quite some time, the paperwork was discovered in which it listed Julie (her niece) as the person to receive Helen’s insurance policy money. The issue at hand involves a timeline in which the insurance company claims Julie had to abide by in order to claim the insurance money. Julie argues this due to the fact that she was not aware that she was listed on the insurance policy as well as not agreeing to the terms of the contract.

II. Issue – What is the question of law?

The question of the law is the donee beneficiary, the person listed on the beneficiary information or insurance policy, entitled to the policy/money.

III. Holding – What is your decision?

My decision in this situation would be a tough and indecisive one. I think that I could see both sides of the situation at hand in this kind of story. I agree with the insurance company that there should be a time frame on this kind of policy claim/cashing in of such money. It is unrealistic to think that someone could claim a life insurance policy some ten years later just by the sole reasoning that they just realized they were on the person’s insurance plan. On the flip side, I also think that perhaps Helen’s niece Julie was not aware that she was listed as her aunt’s beneficiary and perhaps she did not know she was entitled to a money sum. I know that I personally list my parents and my sister as my beneficiaries on my life insurance policy and I am not 100% sure that they are all aware of this. I think that the ultimate decision in this circumstance should be that the insurance company has rules/contracts and they need to be followed by the terms that are printed in writing. Therefore if the insurance company plainly has it stated that Julie had one year’s time to claim the insurance policy money, then that is the contract that needs to be followed regardless of the reasoning behind why Julie may or may not have claimed the money.

IV. Reasoning – What principles of law did you base your decision on?

I based my decision in the above case study on the donee beneficiary information listed on page 380 of the text. Unfortunately in this situation it does not sound like Julie may have been fully aware that she was listed as her aunt’s beneficiary on her life insurance plan; but nonetheless, the contract of the insurance company has to be followed to ensure that the insurance company does not have to pay out recipients to policies who decide to try and claim their money some 10 years later for whatever reason. I think that this is a fair decision and this is the reason in which such laws, contracts, and policies exist.

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