Florida Law Declares Beneficiary Void After a Divorce
Does a divorce decree override a named beneficiary in Florida?
If a former spouse is listed as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, that spouse is voided as a beneficiary after a divorce pursuant to Florida Law. This provision also applies to employee benefits plans, retirement accounts, payable upon death accounts, other accounts that are payable upon death, and annuities or other similar contracts.
After a divorce in Florida it is important to update the beneficiary on all of your accounts, as your former spouse will be automatically voided as the beneficiary. This means that the benefits will pass pursuant to Florida Law, rather than as you have prescribed. Additionally, in the event that the wrong beneficiary is paid, the company who made the payment is not liable for the mistaken payment if you failed to update the beneficiary.
Section 732.703, Florida Statute, was enacted to protect divorcees, so that the former spouse would not inadvertently be paid benefits. Today, pursuant to section 732.703 any prior spouse is deemed to be invalid, unless they are reaffirmed as a beneficiary after a divorce.
If your divorce decree states that your former spouse is to maintain life insurance to secure an alimony or child support obligation is important to ensure that you have been reaffirmed on the life insurance policy after the divorce has been finalized. Otherwise, you will be voided as the beneficiary of the life insurance policy.
Reaffirming a Beneficiary After Divorce
After a divorce, you may be required to maintain life insurance to secure alimony or child support. If this is the case, you will need to reaffirm the beneficiary of your life insurance after the divorce is finalized. Once the divorce is finalized, contact the life insurance company and request the form to reaffirm your former spouse as the beneficiary of the life insurance policy. If you fail to do this, your former spouse will be voided as the beneficiary of the policy.