Can You Receive Life Insurance From Your Former Spouse?
After a divorce has been finalized and assets have been distributed, most divorcees tend to think that that is the end of property disputes. Later on, when one of the divorcees passes on, life insurance disputes are likely to crop up. If you have been battling with the question of whether you can receive life insurance benefits from your former spouse, it is important that you seek further clarification on Divorce Law Garden City NY from experienced Garden City divorce attorneys.
Various considerations need to be made before a decision on who receives life insurance is arrived at. Factors like the state of issuance of the policy, type of policy, state of residence of the former spouses, and the divorce decree contents form part of the primary considerations when determining whether you can receive the sought benefits from your former space. Working with our divorce lawyer garden city, can help you gain insights into the state laws applicable in New York.
How does the type of insurance policy affect who receives the life insurance benefits?
Different life insurance policies have laws that control how benefits are disbursed and who receives the benefits. Therefore, even with a decree directing that a specific person receives insurance benefits, the laws controlling the insurance policies might override the decree. For example, where the policy is held is a Service members’ Group Life Insurance, which is governed by federal law, the person who receives the insurance benefits will be per the named beneficiaries in the policy and not the beneficiaries named in the decree. Therefore if your former spouse names you as their beneficiary in the said policy, you will be entitled to their life insurance benefits.
However, the case is different when it comes to ERISA policies because if the contents of the decree reflect a qualified domestic relations order as per the ERISA guidelines, then the beneficiaries in the decree override those named in the policy. The complexities of laws governing various policies can be challenging if you choose to pursue compensation without legal help. Our Family Lawyer Garden City NY from the law office of Fass & Greenberg can help you understand the various laws and subsequently offer guidance on how to pursue your case.
What happens where the deceased remarried?
States like New York have enacted laws that automatically strike out a former spouse’s name as a beneficiary from the life insurance policy upon a divorce. Life insurance policies remain some of the neglected assets during a divorce; hence, most people fail to update them upon divorce. Therefore, such laws that revoke a former spouse from the policy help reduce conflicts, especially where the deceased remarried after a divorce. Insurance companies often make a payout to a secondary beneficiary if there is one named in the policy. In the absence of one, the insurance company will pay the benefits per table of precedence on next of kin.
Can I still claim my beneficiary rights in New York despite State laws disqualifying them?
The answer to this question is ‘it depends.’ Therefore, there are exceptions to the state laws allowing a former spouse to pursue a compensation claim still. Our Garden City Lawyers have an extensive understanding of the exceptions to state laws, and they can help you lodge a successful claim. If the deceased held a life insurance policy governed by federal laws, you could lodge a successful claim because federal laws on policies override divorce decrees. Also, where there is an agreement between you and your former spouse directing that your name be maintained in the life insurance policy, with the guidance of our Garden city divorce lawyers, you can lodge a successful compensation claim.