Was divorced 2 months ago and my ex husband has died
A good lawyer will need more facts in order to properly answer your question.
You need to call a lawyer who has many years of legal experience and who devotes his or her entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters.
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I agree with my esteemed New Jersey colleague that you need to contact a lawyer and I will add that you should do it as quickly as possible since there may be estate or probate issues that will mix in.
Responses to these questions do not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship.The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable These responses are to assist you in deciding whether to contact a professional to examine the facts and discuss in depth your problem
This is a complex question that involves the interchange between divorce and probate. You should consult your divorce attorney and perhaps an estate attorney as well. Not something you can handle on your own,
The issue really become reads what the pension company can be forced to do. It is a rather difficult, intricate question that would require additional fax them what you provided in your question. Because of the difficult nature of the answer, you really do need to consult with an attorney.
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If there is no QDRO received by the pension administrator of his ERISA pension the pension administrator will follow the rules of its pension and pay out benefits according to the designated beneficiary of record or according to the contract that governs the pension. This could be someone who is not you. Federal law does not allow you a "do over" if there was no QDRO qualified by the pension administrator. However, there are a number of equitable options including filing a claim against his estate and filing a claim against the person who did or is entitled to receive the pension assets according to the pension plan provisions. Sometimes survivor pension rights are lost entirely if the QDRO was needed to preserve them and no one was designated.
As my colleagues have indicated this a complex situation and you should seek out legal counsel or counsels who are experienced dealing with this area of family and probate law. Do not delay addressing this with legal counsel.
In the meantime, if you were married for at least 10 years while he was employed, you most likely will qualify for his social security survivorship benefits even though you are an ex wife and not a present wife. The amount of this benefits is equal to his full social security benefit. Your ability to receive it depends upon your age as you must be of qualifying age to receive social security. If you are presently receiving social security on his work record or your own, this may result in a higher benefit to you, so call social security. This is true even if he remarried.
Lots of people do not take prompt QDRO preparation and qualification seriously and this happens from time to time. Usually they do not understand what is at stake, do not think the other ex spouse will die soon, or just are tired of divorce litigation and hoping not to spend more money on this part so soon. The remedies are not always effective and are expensive.
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