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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33702
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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My mom and dad divorced in 1994. He re-married in 2000. He

Customer Question

Hello,
JA: Hello. What do you want help with?
Customer: My mom and dad divorced in 1994. He re-married in 2000. He passed away in September this year and had set up a trust to include the property with his new wife as the trustee. We were under the impression that he included his life insurance in the trust with his wife as the beneficiary, however, we just realized my mom was named as the beneficiary and his wife is now asking for my mom to sign an affidavit to say that was not my dad's intentions and that my step-mom is entitled to the life insurance.
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: CO
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I am unsure.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so...
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 20 days ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Can you tell me what state they were in when they divorced?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Hello - everything about this situation happened in CO. It is my understanding that because my mom is named as the beneficiary she is 100% entitled to the money as the beneficiary wasn't changed to my step-mom. It is the family's understanding that my dad's intentions were that this money should go to my step-mom and my mom is being asked to sign the affidavit stating that she is signing it over to my step-mom
Expert:  Barrister replied 20 days ago.

Ok, actually Colorado statutes say a divorce or annulment revokes beneficiary designations to the former spouse. The life insurance policy is treated as if the former spouse died before the spouse whose life was insured. COLO. REV. STAT. section 15-11-804.

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(2) Revocation upon divorce. Except as provided by the express terms of a governing instrument, a court order, or a contract relating to the division of the marital estate made between the divorced individuals before or after the marriage, divorce, or annulment, the divorce or annulment of a marriage:

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(a) Revokes any revocable (i) disposition or appointment of property made by a divorced individual to his or her former spouse in a governing instrument and any disposition or appointment created by law or in a governing instrument to a relative of the divorced individual's former spouse,

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So the divorce automatically revokes the designation and the new spouse would just have to file a claim and contact the insurer with a copy of the divorce paperwork and then they would pay the proceeds to her.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Thank you. That's interesting and something I'm surprised we didn't hear from the lawyer who drew up the trust in the first place.
One thing to note, my dad created a trust that included this life insurance policy after they divorced and before he remarried. About a year and a half ago he created a new trust, never voiding the old one which has caused all of this confusion.
Expert:  Barrister replied 19 days ago.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time.

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There are up to 4 entities involved in an insurance policy.. the insurer, the insured, the owner of the policy, and the beneficiary. So if father just transferred ownership of the policy into the trust, but he never named another beneficiary after the divorce revoked mother as the beneficiary, then his estate would then become the beneficiary and those proceeds would be paid to his estate to descend according to any will or under intestate law.

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As for trusts, he can have as many as he wanted, but they only control assets that were actually transferred into them...

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thanks

Barrister

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