was extinguished upon the death of the Insured, survived by his beneficiary.
The scope and effect of a similar assignment were considered by the Court in the case of Sullivan v. Maroney, 76 N.J.Eq. 104, 73 A. 842, at page 844. It was therein stated: 'There were therefore always two sets of interests in this policy- the beneficiaries (who would get the money if they were living at the death of the insured), and the representatives of the insured (to whom the money would come if the insured outlived the beneficiaries.) Each of these interests was undoubtly subject to assignment. Neither one could, in my view, assign anything excepting that which would come to that one, and the assignment of neither could possibly impinge upon the rights of the other.' (Emphasis by thid Court.)
The defendant Connelly acquired a vested property right in the policy- a property right held by her daughter prior to the assignment. This right could have been divested 'only by a change of beneficiary in the mode and manner prescribed by the contract', notwithstanding the reservation of the right to change the beneficiary. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Woolf, supra, 47 A.2d at page 343. See also Sullivan v. Maroney, and Anderson v. Broad Street Nat. Bank, both supra; Prudential Ins. Co. v. Deyerberg, 101 N.J.Eq 90, 137 A. 785, 786; Prudential Ins. Co. v. Swanson, 111 N.J.Eq. 477, 162 A. 597, 599; John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Heidrick, 135 N.J.Eq. 326, 38 A.2d 442, 443. The mere assignment of the policy did not effect the necessary change of beneficiary. Sullivan v. Maroney; Anderson v. Broad Street Nat. Bank; Prudential Ins. Co. v. Deyerberg, supra.
The statement by the court in the case of Sullivan v. Maroney, 76 N.J.Eq. 104, 73 A. 842, at page 844, is apposite in the instant case. It was therein stated: 'The paper, in form, is an assignment. It is made by a person who has an assignable interest, and carries that interest. The interest, as has been pointed out, was contingent but assignable. It does not purport in any way to make a change of beneficiaries, or to affect their interest. The method of change of beneficiary is pointed out in the contract, and that method was not pursued in any respect. It is not even attempted to be shown that it was effected according to the rules of the company as required, or that any written notice thereof was given to the company, or that it took effect by indorsement on the policy of the company, all of which are requisites.'
The defendant Connelly further urges by way of defense that the money advanced by the defendant Sheitelman was not a loan but the purchase price of the stock which he acquired. The evidence before this Court does not support the defense. The evidence clearly indicates that the advance was a loan to the insured, although for a definite purpose, to wit, investment in the corporation; the purpose of the loan, however, did not change the nature of the transaction.
The defendant Connelly further urges as a defense the provisions of R.S. 17:34-29, N.J.S.A. 17:34-29, which exempts from the claims of creditors the proceeds of a 'policy of life insurance made payable to or for the benefit of a married woman'. There appears to be no reason to decide the issues raised by this defense.
The written assignment upon which the claim of the defendant Sheitelman is based, although otherwise valid as between him and the insured, did not affect the vested right of the defendant Connelly, the beneficiary of the policy of insurance. The defendant Sheitelman acquired under the assignment nothing more than the interest of the Insured in the policy of insurance; this was a contingent interest which was extinguished upon the death of the Insured, survived by the designated beneficiary, the defendant Connelly.
The defendant Connelly, as beneficiary of the policy of insurance, had a vested property right which was not divested by the written assignment, notwithstanding the reservation of the right to change the beneficiary. The written assignment did not operate as an effective change of beneficiary; an effective change of beneficiary could have been made only in the manner prescribed by the policy.
The right of the defendant Connelly to the proceeds of the policy of insurance matured upon the death of the Insured. This right was not impaired or diminished by the written assignments. The defendant Connelly is, therefore, entitled to the entire proceeds of the policy, less, of course, the sums heretofore paid by the Company; the sums thus paid are stated in the complaint filed herein.
A judgment in favor of the defendant Connelly and against the defendant Sheitelman will be entered upon presentation of an order for judgment.