My father passed away and we found out his Ex Wife was still listed as his spouse on his Life Insurance.

Asked over 1 year ago - Beaverton, OR

In their divorce she tried to get this policy and was denied by a judge, my father told the judge it was for his kids. Now since my father has passed away we found the policy was paid to his ex wife who was listed as the spouse. He was re married three days before he died. Is there any way to go after her for the money?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Steven Fisher

    Contributor Level 7

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unfortunately, ex wife was named as the beneficiary in the life insurance contract at the time of your father's death. Whether he wanted the money to go to her or not, he didn't change the beneficiary designation and that is what controls. That is something that should have been taken care of immediately after the dissolution judgment was entered, terminating the marriage. The court has no authority to change this result, because it is a matter of contract between your father and the insurance company. I am sorry to hear about this - it doesn't seem right. But every action we take, or fail to take, during our lives can have serious consequences.

  2. Todd A Taylor

    Contributor Level 11

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . I would suggest contacting an attorney that does probate work. You might consider contacting attorney Freeman Green in Salem to assist with these questions.

    Call me at (503) 990-6641 to discuss further.
  3. Alan Jay Dion

    Contributor Level 14

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . i agree, consult an attorney and bring the policy with you. Maybe there is something in the terms of the contract that will help, but I wouldn't be too optimistic. Your Dad should have changed the beneficiary when the issue came up in the divorce (how long ago that was, you don't say). Also, it is likely the policy said the beneficiary was designated the wife, at the time, by name: "My spouse, Mary Elizabeth" Not just, "my wife". So the three day bride is likely, irrelevant.

    This answer is not intended to be legal advice in a lawyer/client relationship. Misunderstanding of the answer or... more
  4. Ryan Wesley Collier

    Pro

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . The divorce decree should control in this situation. You will need to hire an attorney to challenge the payout to the ex-spouse. The insurance company may also have liability depending on what was communicated to the company at the time of or after the divorce.

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