What are my rights to my late husband’s life insurance policy if he did not list me as the beneficiary?

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What are my rights to my late husband’s life insurance policy if he did not list me as the beneficiary?

Before our divorce was final, my husband changed the beneficiary on his life insurance policy 6 months ago to his 1 son. He then passed away and now I’m his widow instead of his ex. Do I have any rights to collect any or all of his life insurance policy?

Asked on December 22, 2016 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that life insurance proceeds pass directly to the named beneficiary listed on the policy; they do not become part of the deceased's estate. Accordingly, while you still have right to your late husband's estate since you were only estranged and not divorced, you have no claim to his life insurance policy (and the proceeds to be paid out).


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