If my ex-husband cashed in his life insurance policy so obviously did not keep me listed a beneficiary as per our divorce decree, am I entitled to any money from his estate?

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If my ex-husband cashed in his life insurance policy so obviously did not keep me listed a beneficiary as per our divorce decree, am I entitled to any money from his estate?

I was divorced 28 years ago and the decree says, “Respondent shall maintain petitioner as the irrevocable beneficiary of his… Life Insurance Policy until her death”. However, he evidently cashed in this policy 15 years ago and knowing him, he just forgot it was awarded to me. Sadly he is days away from death but I would like to know if I am entitled to any monies from his estate since he cashed in the policy?

Asked on June 1, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the situation.  Your marital settlement agreement is a contract between you and it should have been merged in to but survived the divorce.  So you can indeed sue his estate for the value of the policy based upo a breach of that contract.  I would take it to an attorney to review to be sure that there was not some other portion that could have conflcted and maybe allowed the liquidation.  Good luck.


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