Who would get paid if the insurance beneficiary is my new wife but my divorce decree states that my daughter is to be the benefciary?

I have placed my wife as the primary and my daughter and sons as the secondary co-beneficiaries. In this case who would receive the money if was to pass away?

Asked on June 6, 2012 under Family Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The previous answer is correct.  You need to abide by the divorce decree and can be found in contempt of court for failing to maintain your daughter as a beneficiary.  If you were to pass away it would be a big nightmare.  You should change the beneficiary back to your daughter's name and get a new policy for your new wife.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, a beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy trumps a Will but you are playing with fire here.  Your daughter - or her guardian if she is a minor - will be going after the funds and so what will probably happen is that the insurance company will "interplead" the funds in to court and a lawsuit will decide it.  So the funds will probably be eaten up in the end by lawyers.  Consider taking out another policy to satisfy the divorce agreement.  Good luck.

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