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I was divorced in November 2015. In the divorce Decree,

I was divorced in November...
I was divorced in November 2015. In the divorce Decree, I am Named equal beneficiary along with our two adult children in my ex-spouse life insurance policy. He never completed a beneficiary form at his employer. He has since passed away (our children were 21 and 25 at time of divorce) already emancipated.
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: The exact phrasing is I (ex spouse name here) NAME (my name, daughter name, son name) as a beneficiary on a life insurance plan with a death benefit in the amount of (amount entered here) which shall be maintained until the last child is emacipated. (there are two options after he entered his name, the first is NAME the second is MAINTAIN, he checked NAME). I am in massachusetts. the insurance company will not pay the benefit out UNTIL we all agree on hos this should be paid out, or we go to court. I am not asking for equal payment, I am looking only for a small portion, but if this were to go to court, what might the probable outcome be?
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: as in? has the company been notified of a claim upon death of my former spouse? Yes the three of us all received letters to write and sign a document outlining how to split the policy and if this isnt done, the claim would go to the courts
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: married for 23 years, I left the family home due to his alcoholism and abuse. the children were adults at time of divorce.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
10/13/2017
FamilyAnswer
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,989
Experience: 10 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

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Good afternoon. Have you spoken with your children about this? I ask because are they willing to cooperate and submit what is needed to the insurance company, so this can be paid?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have, they don't agree. they want all the benefit. The have received 100% of 401K

Thank you for the reply. The divorce decree has legal effect. By that, I mean if it was ordered that all three of you would take an equal share, that is what you would be entitled to, if the court gets involved. If you are not asking for 1/3 and only want a smaller amount, it would not make sense for them to object to this and have an issue with it, if it would result with them taking more. For them to share it 50-50 and prevent you from taking any, there would need to be a legal basis to support it and if you have a decree that says you are entitled to a 1/3, that is what you can ask for and what the Judge is likely to order. I know they may be upset and made that you take anything from this but if it was part of the decree and something which you ex never did, his passing would not excuse or take away what you are entitled to.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
in the Decree there were two options he could have checked off one is "Name" as beneficiary, the other is "Maintain" as beneficiary. He chose the option "Name". I am really bothered by the last line in the decree on that line for life insurance that reads: "Which shall be maintained until the last child is emancipated" Like I had mentioned, both children were over 21 years old. And the option he chose was "Name" as beneficiary, so does that make the last line null and void? The exact wording: I, spouse name, shall NAME (My name, daughter and son) as beneficiary on a life insurance plan with a death benefit in the amount of 2X annual salary which shall be maintained until the last child is emancipated.

It would be something that he was ordered to do. He was supposed to name you and the two children. If he failed to do so, he would have been in breach of the court order/ decree and action needed to be taken. He had an obligation to maintain it, until the last child was emancipated but if he kept it after, there is no issue with it and you should have been named.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
if nothing was changed and a death benefit beneficiary form was never completed at his place of employment and both our children were of emancipation age at time of divorce, the court should(?) honor the decree? Even without a "Qualified Domestic Relations Order"?

They should if this was court ordered. You shared that the Judge ordered this be shared three ways, so you can ask the Judge to enforce that and award you your share. The age of emancipation is what would end his obligation but if it was still in effect at the time of his passing and he continued the policy, you can argue you are entitled to a share.

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I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

FamilyAnswer
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,989
Experience: 10 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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