What are my rights to my late husband’s life insurance policy if he did not list me as the beneficiary?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are my rights to my late husband’s life insurance policy if he did not list me as the beneficiary?

Before our divorce was final, my husband changed the beneficiary on his life insurance policy 6 months ago to his 1 son. He then passed away and now I’m his widow instead of his ex. Do I have any rights to collect any or all of his life insurance policy?

Asked on December 22, 2016 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that life insurance proceeds pass directly to the named beneficiary listed on the policy; they do not become part of the deceased's estate. Accordingly, while you still have right to your late husband's estate since you were only estranged and not divorced, you have no claim to his life insurance policy (and the proceeds to be paid out).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption