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Loren
Loren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32552
Experience:  30 years experience in the practice of estate law.
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Is it true that once a couple are divorced, the spouses

Customer Question

Is it true that once a couple are divorced, the spouses automatically drop off of the other's life insurance policies as beneficiary, or do insurance beneficiaries stand unless actually changed with a new form?
JA: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?
Customer: The divorce was in Illinois, and I (ex-wife) still live in Illinois; however, my exhusband had been living in Wisconsin for many years after our divorce, so probate filing is in Wisconsin court.
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: I have my divorce settlement agreement from IL, but it is confusing. However, my ex and I were very close for many years after the divorce, but before his death this past July. I have the original beneficiary forms from when we were married that named me beneficiary, and he never changed that designation.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My ex also bought a small life insurance policy a few years AFTER our divorce, and he named me beneficiary on that policy due to our continued amicable relationship, and that we have two children together (adult children, but college students).
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 5 months ago.

I am Loren, an Illinois licensed attorney, and my goal is to answer your question and provide you excellent service.

Expert:  Loren replied 5 months ago.

Assuming the final decree did not address these issues, retirement investments and other accounts with a designated beneficiary typically do not have an automatic revocation, and you must proactively change the beneficiary designation on those investments and accounts. For example, in Illinois, a spouse's designation as a life insurance policy beneficiary is not automatically revoked after divorce.

Expert:  Loren replied 5 months ago.

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