Do step-children have legal right to their stated claim on a life-insurance policy if the ex-spouse has been considered pre-deceased?

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Do step-children have legal right to their stated claim on a life-insurance policy if the ex-spouse has been considered pre-deceased?

My father has his ex-spouse as 1st benificiary on his life insurance policy. Ohio law states that the ex-spouse is considered predeceased. Myself and my blood sister get 50%, and 3 step-children get 50% as we are the second benificiaries. Do the 3 step children loose their right to claim their share as a result of the ex-spouse being considered predeceased? i can find no reference to this issue in Ohio law.

Asked on June 3, 2009 under Insurance Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If I understand the facts correctly, I don't think there's a problem here.  If the three step-children are named in the beneficiary form (or an attached rider), as sharing their half of the second beneficiary spot, then I'd expect that to be honored.

The "predeceased" ex-spouse is a legal fiction, just a convenient way for the law to specify what happens by operation of law when a couple is divorced.

I'm not an Ohio lawyer, and I can't be sure what would be the case if, for example, the three step-children weren't named, but were referred to as the children of the ex-spouse.

No matter what the situation, for advice you can rely on, you need an attorney to look at the policy and consider all the facts.  One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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