Former Spouse Gets Insurance Money

Contrary to popular opinion, divorce does not always automatically revoke your designation of a beneficiary, personal representative, executor, trustee, conservator, agent, or guardian. Your former spouse may end up being the executor of your will or the trustee of your assets.  When did you last review your legal documents? Do you have a living will? A Durable Power of Attorney? Who is the trustee and guardian of your children’s inheritance?

Your former spouse may still get your life insurance benefit. Dan divorced his wife and two years later married Mary. Three years after marrying Mary, Dan died. Utah Code Section 75-2-804(2) provides that “Except as provided by the express terms of a governing instrument, . . . . the divorce or annulment of a marriage:   (a) revokes any revocable . . . . disposition or appointment of property made by a divorced individual to the individual’s former spouse …”

Dan forgot to change the express terms of his life insurance policy. As a result, his former wife enjoyed the life insurance proceeds and his new wife got to pay for an attorney to fight this battle all the way to the Court of Appeals.  Mary lost her husband and the legal battle. We offer consultations and provide our clients with our personal cell phone number just in case something comes up after business hours.

Whether you need a divorce attorney or estate planning attorney in South Jordan or Salt Lake area, give us a call.

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