death of ex-husband

I am an ex-wife and my husband of 35 years died recently. We remained best of friends to the very end. He named me in his Will and pension as beneficiary. I understand now that his wishes won’t be met as the state has decided they know best and have removed me from all of this. I am wondering is that I have a small life insurance policy that I got from my employer which was a bank. I own the policy and insured him. He named me as beneficiary years ago. Will I also lose that?

Asked on September 1, 2017 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An insurance policy is a contract--the proceeds go to whomever was indicated in/on the policy. Unless there was some evidence of wrongdoing (e.g. that you had procured the policy by fraud), the insurer should have to pay out to you.
Note, however, that if you are listed as beneficiary not only by name but as "wife" (e.g. "my wife, Jane Doe"), then the fact that you are no longer his wife may change this and deny you the benefits: listing you as "wife" or "my wife" indicates a desire to benefit you *because* you were his wife, but you longer are. Not having a status listed in a policy may provide grounds to not pay you.


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