If an ex- pouse is listed as a beneficiary on life insurance, do they still receive the money?

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If an ex- pouse is listed as a beneficiary on life insurance, do they still receive the money?

Asked on December 4, 2012 under Insurance Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes--if they are listed by name, they will receive the money. A life insurance policy is a contract; it is enforced according to its plain language, so if it says "John/Jane Doe" is the beneficiary, he or she receives the money. If it identifies a person as husband or wife, however, rather than by name, they will not receive it once they are divorced since they are no longer husband/wife.


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