On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
For many Florida residents, the end of a marriage represents the death of that relationship, as well as the birth of a new phase of life. Divorce may have other links to death, however, in the form of an individual’s estate planning. It is important to understand how life insurance is impacted by divorce, and how to ensure that one’s final wishes are honored without undue burden to those left behind.
States differ on how divorce can impact life insurance, but no matter how a state handles the issue, it is important to know that those laws can shift over time. The rules in place at the time of one’s divorce may not be the same at the time of that spouse’s death. That is why it is absolutely critical to take steps to shore up estate planning.
A common problem arises when an individual fails to update his or her life insurance policy after a divorce. Most of the time, spouses designate each other as the beneficiary of their policy. If that designation is not changed, there is a risk that a former spouse could inherit the life insurance benefit for his or her ex. That can occur even if the deceased party had a subsequent spouse who was the truly intended beneficiary of the life insurance benefit.
Adjusting estate planning documents is a very important part of the divorce process. It is also a step that is far too often overlooked. Divorce can be a hectic time for many Florida residents, and it is easy to miss items on the divorce to-do list. However, changing one’s life insurance beneficiary is not a step that should be skipped, regardless of the status of current legislation on the matter.
natlawreview.com, “Divorces Can Be Messy – For Life Insurers“, Charles J. Vinicombe, April 18, 2017