Can an ex-spouse draw life insurance benefits?

by Guest » Sat Dec 06, 2008 03:25 pm

My boyfriend's father died in August. His divorce was finalized from his ex-wife in April. Apparently, he never changed her as the beneficiary on his life insurance policy. My boyfriend and the siblings really didn't care, because they didn't have the money to begin with-so what would it matter if they didn't have it now.....however the ex-wife agreed to split the insurance money 5 ways--believing it was only fair and she had a decent relationship with all the kids/grandkids. My boyfriend and his siblings had a letter drafted by their lawyer stating that the ex-wife agrees to split the life insurance money and she signed it. It was sort of her suggestion. After all, their dad divorced her (and on a side note, his reasons for divorcing her had something to do with him pulling his retirement out early upon her suggestion so that she could place some money in an acct that would draw interest and some in the bank acct to pay bills with, only to find out that the money disappeared and she began using his credit card to pay for bills, subsequently causing my boyfriends dad to file for bankruptcy). My boyfriend got a letter in the mail yesterday from his step-mom stating she's going to be keeping all the insurance money basically because she feels entitled to it. She rattled off a list of things she has done that are only simply things a nice person would do without payment. (claims she paid his cell phone bill for a year, a gas bill in 2/08, their joint tax return in 2007, and has been feeding the cats since his death and mailing his mail to my boyfriend's sister. It's so ridiculous....however, my question is this.

Can she get away with this if she signed a notarized document stating she agreed to split the insurance money? After all, they were divorced and it was more than likely an oversight on his part. Also, would something like this be suitable for civil court and how long should it take???

Thanks all.

Total Comments: 81

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 01:50 am Post Subject:

Can she get away with this if she signed a notarized document stating she agreed to split the insurance money? After all, they were divorced and it was more than likely an oversight on his part. Also, would something like this be suitable for civil court and how long should it take??? thanks all.

First off Stef, I'm sorry your boyfriend lost his father...secondly let me ask a few questions...was this life policy thru his dad's employer or was it a private policy? What state are you in? Are there 4 children is that right? How much are we talking about here? Have any of the children contacted an attorney? What about all of Dad's personal property and estate?

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 05:05 am Post Subject: insurance

I have a Life Insurance policy through the military. My Beneficiary is my BEST friend ( and POA). As I read some of these threads/posts, I starting to believe ( I think..really don't know for sure..) that my Beneficiary can be 'challanged' on my decisions, on what my Life Insurance says. I don't know if ANYONE has the 'ground' to do this, however. I wouldn't think they do.'s my EX and my EX-in-laws who I don't trust. Any advice?

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:27 am Post Subject:

SD I think you're fine and locked solid..of course anyone can challenge's whether or not they would suceeed, and in your case I think your golden.

In the OP's case it may be different, and the reason I ask if it was a policy at work...'some' states (mine as an example) if an 'ex' spouse is left as a beneficiary it is assumed the insured 'forgot' to change it....'if' there is another spouse, or natural children....when my brother died, he had INTENTIONAL left his ex as beneficary, however he didn't know that he needed to fill out a form that in fact said, 'yep i REALLY DO MEAN to leave my ex as beneficary'...we solved it (in our family) easily because my dad, and stepmom and my sister and i signed off that we were not contesting anything (had to do this for his 'estate' as well) could we in this case have challenged it? of course, he left two minor daughters. what kind of moron would take 'food' out of their mouths? :roll: would we have been successful, I doubt it I would think his girls would come in first ahead of parents or siblings...anyway...'i' think you're safe, but gary, ins. teacher, investigator or another senior agent would be able to give you better advise i'm sure...hopefully they will be along directly

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 02:01 pm Post Subject: insurance

LORI.........I have another question for ya. Yep...I DO have a Will and a Life Insurance, through the military. My Will is just a 'general' one......just that my POA takes care of bills, etc. ..nothing 'specific' ( who I leave what to). My Life I nsurance is 'self-explanatory'. Do you think I should get a 'Civilian Will' to state SPECIFIC' things ( what goes to who, etc.)? Also.................(if you know..) even if I AM divorced, ( GOD FORBID!!) if anything happenes to me, my son will probably live with his dad. Well, as you know, from some of my posts, I don't trust my EX. Can I SPECFICALLY state that my EX can't do certain things without my POA's permission? I mean can't touch my son's Life Insurance, can't move out of state,etc? I hope my question is 'clear' to you.

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:36 pm Post Subject:

As you know SD I'm no lawyer (I was though only about 6 credits short of a paralegal degree, but that ain't worth much :roll: )...I doubt you could prevent him from leaving certainly could say who gets what etc. And what you're wishes are ..but if you've left your friend as beneficiary a will doesn't change or trump truth without a trust, she could take the money and do with it what she will. (not saying that would happen you know that just that she/he 'could'). You might want to check to see if that 'service' will is only good as long as you are active military...when you say 'touch his life ins.' do you mean the policy ON your son or FOR your son? if you mean 'for' your boy, meaning your policy, he can't touch that anyway because you have another beneficary. If you mean the policy you have on your son's life...who would care about that? or do you mean you'd be afraid he'd cash it in? I'm sorry I don't think I'm clear on what you would want to say and not say (in a will)..sorry maybe explain it deeper.

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:39 pm Post Subject: insurance

LORI............................I mean can my EX try to get the money, in the Life Insurance, that is FOR my son? I don't think he can. My POA, who is my BEST friend......I'll tell ya I trust her with my life!! I've known her a very long time. She was my POA when I went to Kwiatt and Iraq. She took care of everything. She e-mailed me when she was taking money out for bills, for my son, etc. She IS wonderful!! My Will, through the Military, is 'valed' anywhere. It's jusy a very 'general' one (ie..POA gets possesions of this or that and 'distributes' items to my family,etc.) To answer your question, yes...the Will and Insurance is ONLY good while I'm in the Military. However....I don't plan on getting out anytime soon.LOL TOO many benefits!!LOL Especially for my son.

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:33 am Post Subject:

Stefanie, lets put it this way, since her husband hadn't changed the beneficiary status even after the divorce, she will remain legally the beneficiary of the policy. And, the insurance company will recognize her beneficiary status only. So, this can't be challenged legally.

However, she is kind enough to agree to distribute the life proceeding with the other living descendents of her husband. And, since the letter was drawn by an attorney that she had signed, she can be legally challenged in the court of law for not acknowledging the letter.

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:36 am Post Subject:

Your ex couldn't touch any money you've left to your there's nothing to worry about there...and unless and until your will is no longer valid (you are out of the military) that will stand up as well..when you were gone did your boy stay with his father? were there any 'money' issues then? Just be very careful that if there comes a time that this policy or will is no longer valid that you make the proper arrangements...also are you saying once you leave the military you no longer have life ins.? if so you better get to thinking about getting a private policy while you are young..(how old are you anyway?) and the rates would be lower....the other agents could advise you on the best bet for you....remind me again your son is what? 10 or so?

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:38 am Post Subject:

So, this can't be challenged legally.

yeah jeorge it can be challenged, and dependent upon the type of policy and state laws, it might be an easy win.

Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 07:41 am Post Subject: insurance

LORI...........i DID find out, if I choose to get out of the Military, I CAN keep the Life Insurance, but, i would have to pay out of my poket to do this. Right now, I pay $27.00 per month for it. However......if I'm 'out', the payment will be ALOT more. When I was gone, my son stayed with his dad. However............the 'decsions' that were made ( financially, needs of my son, etc.) had to be 'AGREEABLE' with BOTH my EX AND my POA. Ya EX is not the most resonsible person in the world. I'm sure you can gather that by previous posts. :roll: For example...if my EX told my POA he needed something for my son ( and I KNOW my EX would want something out of it, too..) my POA would go get whatever my son needed. She (POA) wouldn't give the cash to my EX because I know the cash wouldn't go to my son, my EX would spend it. This 'arrangement' was in writing, attached to my Will and Life Insurance. All of my utility comoanies, bank,etc. had a copy of the POA. My EX even had the nerve to try to go to the bank and get money out of my SON'S account. Ya see........BOTH my EX and my son have the same name. My EX went in and said "this is me and I want money out of my account." The bank knew the circumstances with me being gone, etc. The bank ALSO had a copy of the POA AND a copy of my son's Birth Certificate to 'seperate' the two people: EX and my son. Thsi is a small town I live in.....everyone knows everyone!! :D Anyway......the bank called my POA AND e-mailed me ( was still overseas then..). My POA went to the bank and took care of it. After I left, my EX even tried to go to a lawyer and told this person that I "up and abandon my child and no one knew where I was." Talk about sneaky!!! My EX was ALSO stupid enough to tell the lawyer to call my POA and she would have the 'same story'. YEA...RIGHT!! My POA had copies of EVERYTHING!!! The whole thing was crazy!! KNOW you see why I'm so 'concerned' about my EX doing nasty stuff do get what he wants. My son is 15 (now). THEN...when I left, my son was 9. Was gone 15 months.

Add your comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.