When you or your spouse purchase life insurance, you may not be thinking about the future implications of divorce. It's not uncommon for ex-spouses to still have their former partner on these policies, but this can usually be corrected quickly. Unfortunately, there are situations where your ex could still have grounds to claim your coverage despite not being named as a beneficiary. If you have a beneficiary dispute, or there is an interpleader filed, we can help.
How Could My Ex-Spouse Still Get a Payout from My Life Insurance Policy?
Despite not being named beneficiary, if your ex-spouse passes away and has a life insurance policy, you may have rights to all or part of the proceeds. There are particular circumstances where this could happen, including:
Your Ex-Spouse Agreed to Keep You as the Beneficiary
It's important to remember that several states have passed laws to ensure that an insured's wishes are protected. Despite this, some circumstances allow for exceptions. For instance, if you and your former spouse agreed to keep you as the primary beneficiary on the policy. This often happens in divorce situations or when there are children from the previous marriage that the decedent wanted to ensure would be provided for should they die unexpectedly.
Your Ex-Spouse Didn't Update Their Trust or Will After Your Divorce
Suppose your spouse got a divorce and then created an irrevocable trust that included a life insurance policy. In that case, it's possible their former partner still has a claim if they were listed as a beneficiary, and it never got updated.
Your Ex-Spouse Remarried
Another common mistake that leads to an ex getting life insurance death benefits is when their former partner remarries and forgets to update their policy designations. Several states have passed laws that specifically address this issue by automatically revoking the ex-spouse's right as a named beneficiary after the divorce.
The Importance of Consulting with a Life Insurance Attorney Before Divorcing
If you are contemplating divorce or want to be prepared should your marriage not work out, consulting with an experienced life insurance attorney is essential if you have a policy. While changing your party may seem easy enough, your insurer has specific procedures that must be followed to enact a beneficiary change. In addition, you will likely have to re-designate your ex-spouse if you wish for them to remain the primary on the coverage because of state laws automatically revoking their right.
When choosing a life insurance attorney, you need a legal professional to confront potential disputes head-on. Count on our life insurance law firm to find a satisfactory resolution. We're available to take your free consultation request day or night. Discover how quickly your claim experience can become more productive when our lawyers step in to fight for your benefit rights. Reach us online today.