Friday, January 15, 2010

What happens when a deceased parent never changed his marital status after a divorce?

I need my fathers life insurance in order to pay for his services but he never changed his marital status to divorced at work. Is she still the beneficiary? How can I change this?What happens when a deceased parent never changed his marital status after a divorce?
You will have to present his Decree Absolute to the insurance company to confirm the divorce was finalized. However, that only confirms he was legally divorced. He really should have changed the beneficiary if he wanted the insurance left to someone else. It can be rather surprising sometimes how many people assume they know who the beneficiary of insurance isn't always a spouse! I have insurance and I've requested it be divided amongst my grandchildren. It would be up to the Executor of your father's Will to make an appeal to have it changed. Some places are flexible, other's are not.

That's why it's so important to stay on top of things like that. Circumstances can change.......and change quickly so it's not something that should be put off to do another time.What happens when a deceased parent never changed his marital status after a divorce?
What his marital status was at the time of death has nothing to do with who will receives his life insurance. If he made his wife the beneficiary while they were married and never took her off the policy after the divorce. Then she is still the legal beneficiary for the life insurance.

You can't change this. Whether they were married or not at the time of your dad's death. The policy as the beneficiary has her name on it, not yours. Legally she has a right to that money and you have no legal rights to any of the money.

The insurance company will determine that if your father didn't want his ex-wife to receive his life insurance, then he would have taken her name off the policy as the beneficiary when he divorced his wife. If he wanted his daughter to receive this money, he would have changed his policy and made you the beneficiary. Sorry, but you can't win this fight.
Unfortunately, I believe she is, divorced or not. Not sure if, even if you are legally the executor of the will, if anything can be done about it. If you can get a copy of the divorce decree, possibly you could cajole them into it but I kind of doubt it. Sorry about that, and for your loss.
A standard divorce degree drawn up by compentent lawyers would of had her relinquish that. And it should then go into the estate. A better alternative might be that she write you a check. You get the funds released. You cash the check. Check with a lawyer, but I think that would avoid estate taxes.

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