Am I entitled to life Insurance money if I’m still designated as beneficiary on my deceased ex-husband’s policy?

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Am I entitled to life Insurance money if I’m still designated as beneficiary on my deceased ex-husband’s policy?

In separation agreement, I agreed to relinquish any rights to beneficiary of life insurance policy. Ex husband has since passed away without having changed this policys beneficiary designation- meaning that I am still listed as such. Am I entitled to keep the money? He never remarried but does have a child.

Asked on April 12, 2018 under Insurance Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The general rue in most states is that in the case of a divorce where an ex-spouse is still listed on an insurance policy as the beneficiary, the contingent beneficiary listed is paid the proceeds. If no contingent beneficiary is designated then the proceeds are paid into the probate estate and distributed accordingly. My research suggests that NC holds this view. At this point, in order to confirm you can contact an NC attorney.
 
Right now you need to check on this with an attorney in your area; they will be able to advise you as to specific state law.
 


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