Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Cook v. Equitable Life Assurance Society

Court of Appeals of Indiana
428 N.E.2d 110 (1981)


Facts

Douglas Cook bought a life insurance policy from Equitable Life Assurance (Equitable) (plaintiff) while he was married to Doris Combs (defendant). The policy named Doris as beneficiary. Years later, Douglas and Doris divorced. The divorce decree did not mention the life insurance policy but did provide that the agreement served as full satisfaction of all claims between the two. Douglas then married Margaret Cook (defendant), with whom he had a son named Daniel (defendant). The terms of the life insurance policy provided that Douglas could only change the beneficiary by providing written notice to Equitable, but Douglas gave no such notice. Douglas did, however, execute a holographic will. The will provided that the life insurance policy from Equitable was to go to Margaret and Daniel. Douglas died three years later. Margaret made a claim on the policy. Instead of paying Margaret, Equitable filed an interpleader action for a determination of who was entitled to the proceeds of the policy and deposited the funds with the court. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of Doris, and Margaret and Daniel appealed to the Court of Appeals of Indiana, arguing that they were entitled to the life insurance policy on the basis of Douglas’s will, despite the fact that Douglas had not complied with the policy requirements for changing the beneficiary.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Ratliff, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 217,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.