Can an ex-spouse collect life insurance proceeds?

My ex-wife is still listed on the policy.

Asked on September 1, 2018 under Insurance Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, life insurance benefits are paid to the named beneficiary, regardless of their status as a spouse. In other words, divorce usually has no effect on the beneficiary designation. That having been said, NY law provides that a divorce automatically revokes a beneficiary designation to a spouse unless the divorce decree clearly states otherwise.

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