Insurance beneficiary- divorce and remarriage

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Insurance beneficiary- divorce and remarriage

My ex purchased a LI policy when we were married. I am the beneficiary. We have since divorced, we have a 6 year old child and he remarried. I am stil listed as bene. He lives in CT and I live in NY. Can his new wife contest this payment if he should die?

Asked on May 18, 2009 under Insurance Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I would like to add that the real question here is what was your agreement at the time of the divorce?  Was the life insurance policy a marital asset that was specifically addressed? Who is the owner of the policy? Was there a policy that was to be maintained for the benefit of your child should your ex-husband die and child support stop?  I would contact your divorce attorney and have him/her contact the life insurance company on their policy as to having him re-designate you now if need be, revocation after divorce, etc. and how all of these issues were resolved or not resolved at the time of the divorce.  Each state is different as to revocation statutes (that the policy is automatically revoked at the time ot the divorce) and your divorce lawyer should be able to help. 

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Anyone can contest anything, but will she be successful?  Probably not.  It is up to the person who purchases the life insurance policy to see to it that he or she changes the beneficiary(ies) if there is a change in personal circumstances such as divorce, marriage, remarriage, death, etc.  There is certainly still time for him to make this change any time prior to his death.  Should he fail to do so, the money would come to you.  You would, of course, have the option to turn it over to his new wife if you believe that is to whom it should go.


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