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Your Spouse Might Not Be Your Beneficiary

Mar 31, 2015 | Written by: Lori K. MacWilliam, Esq. |

Getting married may change many things in your life, but it does not automatically change the beneficiary on your life insurance policy to your new spouse. In a recent New Jersey Appeals Court case, an individual named his sister as beneficiary of his life insurance policy. Several years later, the individual married, and then died in an auto accident. Both the sister and the wife claimed the life insurance proceeds. The Court said that, in such circumstance, if the policy holder does not take the necessary steps to change the beneficiary designation to the new spouse, the insurance company should pay to the earlier named beneficiary. [Based on 23-2-5905 Fox v. Lincoln Financial Group , App. Div. (Carroll, J.A.D.) ]

If you need guidance on legal issues pertaining to beneficiaries, wills, trusts, estates planning, or estate administration, please contact Gebhardt & Kiefer, PC at 908-735-5161.