Life Insurance and Divorce

Florida Life Insurance and Divorce

Florida life insurance may be impacted by divorce, and a divorce attorney should try to explicitly include discussion as part of the divorce proceeding and marital settlement agreement. If you were the divorced spouse who was still the beneficiary on your ex's life insurance policy, or the Estate of someone whose ex was still listed as the beneficiary at the time of death, or are a contingent beneficiary where the primary beneficiary is the former spouse, you could be entitled to life insurance proceeds. Florida's life insurance law is very complex. Our Florida life insurance lawyers have handled many life insurance claims throughout all of Florida. If you need help with a Florida life insurance case, or a question on making a life insurance claim, call a life insurance lawyer at the Law Offices of Jason Turchin at 800-337-7755 today for a free consultation. 
 
When a loved one dies, those left behind are often left to juggle their emotions and grief over the loss with the planning and arrangement of a funeral. During this emotionally difficult and time consuming stage, most do not immediately consider financial concerns. However, your loved one may have taken out a life insurance policy to financially aid or protect you in the event of his or her death, or to pay for a funeral. 
 
Common Life Insurance Claims 

While Florida law requires that life insurance policy benefits be collected within a certain period of time from the date of death, it has become all too common for insurance companies to not honor your claim. Such denials are issued when there is an obvious issue of material fact that led to the issuance of the policy when it was drawn up, when there is a material misrepresentation, when premium payments are missed, or when a policy changes or is canceled outright. But what about a policy taken out during a former marriage? 

Life Insurance Claims When The Policy Is Taken Out During Marriage
 
Let's say you’re happily married with a couple of kids. Your spouse wants to protect you in case something should happen to him, so he takes out a life insurance policy and names you as his beneficiary. Several years later, you and your spouse decide you want other things, and decide to permanently part ways. Although you are now divorced, your former spouse did not make any changes to his life insurance policy nor did he mention the policy during the process of settling the divorce. So are you still entitled to benefit from your former spouse’s life insurance policy when he passes away? 

The short answer is that it depends.

Florida's Controversial Life Insurance-Divorce Law

The State of Florida recently passed a controversial statute that includes a divorce exclusion for life insurance policy beneficiaries. Essentially, the new law makes it so that if you are your spouse’s beneficiary on a life insurance policy and you decide later down the road to get a divorce, you as the beneficiary are treated as though you predeceased your spouse. 

Section 2 of Florida Statute § 732.703 reads as follows:
“A designation made by or on behalf of the decedent providing for the payment or transfer at death of an interest in an asset to or for the benefit of the decedent’s former spouse is void as of the time the decedent’s marriage was judicially dissolved or declared invalid by court order prior to the decedent’s death, if the designation was made prior to the dissolution or court order. The decedent’s interest in the asset shall pass as if the decedent’s former spouse predeceased the decedent.”

Simply put, if you were the beneficiary and you divorced the insured, the benefits will skip over you and go to the contingent beneficiary, such as your child, or the decedent’s parent or sibling. This beneficiary “skip” may occur even if the former spouse has kept up to date on her premium payments. So now what? Is there no way to collect the benefits you are entitled to? 

Florida's Life Insurance Law Has Many Exceptions

Florida’s new divorce exclusion statute is a highly controversial one. If you are a listed beneficiary on your ex spouse’s life insurance policy, or if you have been issued an outright denial of benefits by your insurance company, there still may be ways to collect from the policy. 

Florida's life insurance divorce law includes several ways in which you could still be entitled to the proceeds. Sometimes there are provisions in the marital settlement agreement, or in the language of the policy. Sometimes there are promises made outside of the divorce proceeding, or a gift of the policy. Sometimes the policy is given in consideration of something unrelated to the marriage, like a business investment. Some policies cannot be changed without the permission of the owner. Some fall under Federal law and are not included in the Florida statute change. 

Making a Life Insurance Claim as an Ex-Spouse

Jason Turchin and his team of experienced Life Insurance attorneys want to help you receive the benefits you are entitled to from your life insurance policy. If you have gone through a divorce and your insurance company has denied your claim, or you are a contingent beneficiary or family member and want to know your rights, our life insurance attorneys are here to assist you. Call 1-800-337-7755 for your free consultation today, or submit a free online inquiry form.

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