Posted: 31 May 2014 06:08 Post Subject:
It depends on the insurance plan. Normally, you need to designate the beneficiary of your life insurance.
If you are concerned about your own such policy, then you MUST contact the insurance company and make sure that the person(s) you want to receive the life insurance proceeds are those of your choosing. You may need to file a new beneficiary statement -- which is always a good thing to do whenever a marriage or divorce occurs.
If the insurance plan is governed under ERISA, your spouse can be the de facto beneficiary unless he/she signs off and allows someone else to take that position. Community property laws may also affect the death benefit to a limited extent if this takes place in a community property state.