Re: Life Insurance Beneficiary Rights of an Ex-Spouse
I worked for a life ins. co. & this can sometimes get complicated depending a lot on state law.
If not ERISA - Pa. says this: 20 Pa. C.S.A. § 6111.2. Effect of divorce on designation of beneficiaries:
If a person domiciled in this Commonwealth at the time of his death is divorced from the bonds of matrimony after designating his spouse as beneficiary of a life insurance policy, annuity contract, pension or profit-sharing plan or other contractual arrangement providing for payments to his spouse, any designation in favor of his former spouse which was revocable by him after the divorce shall become ineffective for all purposes and shall be construed as if such former spouse had predeceased him unless it appears from the wording of the designation, a court order or a written contract between the person and such former spouse that the designation was intended to survive the divorce. Unless restrained by court order, no insurance company, pension or profit-sharing plan trustee or other obligor shall be liable for making payments to a former spouse which would have been proper in the absence of this section. Any former spouse to whom payment is made shall be answerable to anyone prejudiced by the payment.
& even if ERISA plan - Pa. says this: In re: Estate of Sauthers, 971 A.2d 1265 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2009), the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that 20 Pa. C.S.A. § 6111.2 is not preempted by ERISA.
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