I Got A Divorce In Florida And My Ex Died And Left Me As Beneficiary On His Life Insurance Policy. Can I Still Inherit The Money?
It depends on the circumstances. The law on beneficiaries changed in 2012. Under the 2012 law, if a beneficiary designation is made before the owner’s death on a non-probate asset, the designation is voided when the divorce is final. The non-probate assets to which this law applies include life insurance policies, IRAs, employee benefit plans, qualified annuities, pay-on-death accounts, and other assets registered in a transfer-on-death form.
However, there are a lot of exceptions to the general rule. First, if your ex-spouse named you as a beneficiary on his or her life insurance after the divorce was final, you can inherit the money. If the designation was for some reason irrevocable (can’t be changed), you can still inherit. If an order from the divorce court said that your spouse has to maintain the asset for you, or said that he could not change the beneficiary, you can inherit. If your former spouse divorced you and then you got remarried, and remained married until he passed away, you can inherit. If you two owned the asset together in a form of joint ownership, the asset will pass to you.
As you can see, the rules about divorce and inheritance can get tricky. You should speak with an estate planning attorney as part of the divorce process. The attorney may recommend that you finalize everything after the divorce is complete, or may recommend that you execute some legal documents while the divorce is pending, particularly if it is taking a while.