Can my wife collect my life insurance if we never divorcedbut she remarried?

UPDATED: Dec 29, 2010

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Can my wife collect my life insurance if we never divorcedbut she remarried?

My wife and I seperated 25 years ago and never divorced. She remarried around 8 years ago. Can she collect my life insurance if I die and she is remarried?

Asked on December 29, 2010 under Family Law, Arkansas


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If you and your wife never legally divorced then she is not not legally re-married and is still your wife for all general purposes, like collecting on your life insurance policy. I think that it is about time that you seek help from an attorney on this mater and start proceedings to legally separate or divorce your wife.  In the meantime you can change the beneficiary of your life insurance policy at any time by calling the company and asking them to send you a new designation of beneficiary form.  But here is the problem: if you are not divorced and you change the beneficiary to someone other than your wife then she can elect against your estate if she does not inherit the amount permitted by law.  Good luck.

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