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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Beneficiary Revision Versus Divorce Decree

    My question involves insurance law for the state of: Florida

    When we divorced, my ex-husband and I were ordered by the Court to purchase life insurance for our 7 year old daughter in the amount of $250k each. We each did so, naming the other parent as beneficiary. He later remarried and had 2 children. He died last week. His widow phoned me yesterday and said that he saw a lawyer 10days before he died and was advised to submit a life insurance beneficiary form adding his two children from the new marriage as beneficiaries with his present wife also a beneficiary. She told me that he had intended to let me know of the change but "didn't have as much time to live as he'd thought" (Cancer). He went into hospice care that same week. She said the insurance company would be sending me a check for our 16 year old daughter in the amount of $62,500. Is this possible? I just assumed (yes, I know how that sounds) that he'd let me know of any of these types of "plans" and "changes"---I never even saw a copy of the policy--we were very close friends for all of our lives and I just feel pretty stupid now. I understand he wanted to take care of his new family---our daughter has always been also very close to all involved, babysitting, vacations, etc. But to me, he should have taken out a new policy years ago when he remarried (2006)---making those children and his new wife the beneficiaries. Is it possible that a new "beneficiary form" would be accepted by the insurance company and in effect, trump the 2003 divorce decree?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Beneficiary Revision Versus Divorce Decree

    Although a full evaluation is not going to be possible without reviewing the divorce judgment, it is possible that you can assert a constructive trust against the life insurance proceeds. See, e.g., Holmes by Holmes v Holmes, 463 So.2d 578 (Fla. 1st DCA 1985). I suggest having the order compelling the purchase of life insurance reviewed by a family lawyer for evaluation of possible claims of constructive trust or claims against your ex's estate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    2

    Default Re: Beneficiary Revision Versus Divorce Decree

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Although a full evaluation is not going to be possible without reviewing the divorce judgment, it is possible that you can assert a constructive trust against the life insurance proceeds. See, e.g., Holmes by Holmes v Holmes, 463 So.2d 578 (Fla. 1st DCA 1985). I suggest having the order compelling the purchase of life insurance reviewed by a family lawyer for evaluation of possible claims of constructive trust or claims against your ex's estate.
    Thank you for the unbelievably quick response. In the last hour, I was advised by my ex-husband's widow that the lawyer he used was quite clear in the "utility" of the beneficiary change. She told him (in the presence of his now widow), IF the actions you are taking today are challenged after your death, the insurance companies typically immediately place the $250k into probate. And THAT action would expose the money to creditors. Yes, he has massive hospital/medicine bills....the lawyer said should that happen, not one of the beneficiaries would ever receive a penny. I assume this is true--and so possibly my ex-husb was deliberately doing what he could to protect his survivors---while attempting to be assured that creditors could not get to the money? If I do appeal or challenge what's happening---is that about the worst thing that could happen to these 3 children and his widow?

  4. #4
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Beneficiary Revision Versus Divorce Decree

    So according to the widow, she consulted a lawyer about changing the beneficiary and what recourse you and your daughter might have, and she's telling you that her lawyer told her that if you challenged the change of beneficiary all the kids would lose out, so she proceeded with the plan on the assumption that you would roll over? And you trust this woman?

    I again suggest having the order compelling the purchase of life insurance reviewed by a family lawyer for evaluation of possible claims of constructive trust or claims against your ex's estate.

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