With every life insurance policy, there are certain sets of rules that are applicable to the beneficiaries of the policy. You may be wondering if your spouse has a right to benefit from your life insurance policy.
What Is A Beneficiary?
It may not seem like it, but a life insurance policy is a contract between an insurance company and the person who holds the insurance policy. Because this is a legal contract, both parties are required to uphold their ends of the argument. In these circumstances, a beneficiary is the name of the person who is entitled by the contract to receive the life insurance money when the policyholder passes away. So, simply put, it is correct to say that your spouse can have rights to your death benefits. In addition to your spouse, a beneficiary can also be your child, another relative such as a cousin, aunt, or uncle, a friend, or even an estate planning tool called a trust. The owner of the policy can name anyone he or she wants as the beneficiary of the policy.
Will My Spouse Automatically Inherit My Life Insurance Money When I Pass Away?
There is not typically a requirement that states only a spouse will be named as the beneficiary to the life insurance policy. In most cases, the life insurance policy allows you to name any beneficiary you would like on your policy.
If the spouse is added to the policy listed as “irrevocable,” this means they cannot modify this later on. Contact your life insurance company to understand the terms of your pre-existing policy. Before you file for life insurance, it’s wise to contact a Newport Beach life insurance lawyer to look over your application for any errors or oversights. It’s best to understand these policies upfront before you sign on the dotted line, but if you run into any trouble with an existing policy, you can always call a lawyer at McKennon Law Group PC for help.
What Happens If I Forget To Remove My Former Spouse From My Life Insurance Policy?
After a married couple goes through a divorce, it’s wise for both partners to discuss life insurance. Every divorce will undergo some kind of property settlement agreement in which shared or mutual property is divided amongst the separating pair. Both spouses must be clear on what happens in case of the insured person’s death. However, if you forget to remove a former spouse, your money could ended up in the wrong hands.
Under many different state laws, a former spouse would be automatically revoked as a beneficiary to a life insurance policy unless the former spouse can demonstrate that there was a written agreement to keep them as the beneficiary despite the divorce. Not all life insurance policies fall under these revocation rules. In some cases, life insurance policies controlled by federal legislature will pay to the listed beneficiary, regardless of what conflicting state laws say.
When Should I Hire A Life Insurance Lawyer?
If you are considering taking out a life insurance policy, you should hire a lawyer before you even start the process. Talking to a lawyer as you consider life insurance is the best way to ensure you accurately understand the process you are about to undergo, and what it may require of you. Additionally, life insurance requires you to fill out a thorough and honest application, which is best undergone with the supervision of a lawyer from the very start.
If you have already begun the process of filing for life insurance, you can still consult with a lawyer. At McKennon Law Group PC, you can call our law firm and schedule a free consultation with our professionals if you have any important questions about life insurance. We can help make sure you feel confident throughout the proceedings, and that you are not being taken advantage of by the life insurance company. It can be hard to understand what benefits your spouse is entitled to, so be sure to have a legal representative by your side.
Schedule A Free Consultation With McKennon Law Group Today With Questions You Have About Life Insurance
With more than 60 years of insurance claims legal experience, the attorneys at McKennon Law Group PC represent clients in disputes with insurance companies in California and nationwide. Nationally recognized, we have helped hundreds of clients obtain their improperly denied life insurance benefits. We provide free initial consultations. Call our Newport Beach law office today with any questions you have about life insurance benefits.