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09/21/89 Principal Mutual Life v. Robert K. Juntunen

September 21, 1989

PRINCIPAL MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF

v.

ROBERT K. JUNTUNEN, INTERPLEADER AND DEFENDANT-APPELLEE (PAMELA S. RILEY, F/K/A PAMELA S. JUNTUNEN, INTERPLEADER AND DEFENDANT-APPELLANT)



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

545 N.E.2d 224, 189 Ill. App. 3d 224, 136 Ill. Dec. 700 1989.IL.1467

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Sophia H. Hall, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LINN delivered the opinion of the court. McMORROW and JOHNSON, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINN

Plaintiff, Principal Mutual Life Insurance Company, filed an interpleader action in the circuit court of Cook County and deposited the proceeds of two insurance policies that were owned by the deceased, Harvey Juntunen. The two claimants to the proceeds are Pamela S. Riley, the deceased's ex-wife, who was listed as principal beneficiary, and Robert K. Juntunen, the deceased's brother. He is listed as second beneficiary on the policies.

The trial court entered judgment in favor of Robert, finding that Pamela had waived her right and interest in the insurance proceeds by executing a release of those rights as part of a property settlement upon dissolution of her marriage to Harvey.

Pamela appeals, contending that she did not waive her expectancy in the insurance proceeds, as distinguished from any vested legal interest that she may have had at the time of the divorce. Because Harvey never changed the designation of the beneficiary on his policy after the divorce in the several years before his death, Pamela claims he did not substantially comply with the policy requirements for changing beneficiaries. Accordingly, she maintains that she is entitled to the proceeds.

We affirm the trial court.

The undisputed facts reveal that Harvey was insured under two life insurance policies having face values of $5,000 each. When he died on June 21, 1986, his former wife was listed as principal beneficiary and his brother as second beneficiary.

In March 1981, after 4 1/2 years of marriage, Pamela and Harvey divorced. Their settlement agreement provided as follows:

"Each of the parties hereby releases and/or waives any interest, beneficial or otherwise, which he or she may have acquired in or to life insurance policy(ies) owned by the other."

In the five years before his death, Harvey paid the policy premiums. He and Pamela remained on cordial terms, and he sold the marital residence ...


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