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New Mexico

What is the law if an ex-spouse wants to be designated as the beneficiary on a life insurance policy? If we have joint custody and joint physical custody...do I have to sign the ex as the beneficiary, or can I sign someone in my family I trust to care for the welfare of my kids should something happen to me?


Senior Member
If you are under no court order(such as your divorce decree or child support order, or alimony order), to name your ex-spouse as beneficiary, then you do not have to do so. If no order exists, your ex-spouse has no more right to be the beneficiary than I do.
You may designate someone else as beneficiary, or specify an estate trust for the children, but you can not will the actual custody of the children to someone else upon your death.

I recommend that you talk with your insurance agent about the available options for assigning a beneficiary or an estate trust for the children. For example, the benefits from my life insurance policy will go into a trust account. This information and the name of the trustee is part of the beneficiary assisgnment for my policy.


I am a manager at a large insurance company and work in the life claims department. I agree with the message above. You have the right to name anyone as beneficiary under your policy. If you name your children and they are minors, the insurance company would require letters of guardianship for the property of the minor. These papers are issued from the courts and can be given to your ex. To ensure that your children receives the benefit you should either name someone that you trust who will do the right thing for your children or set up a trust and designate a trustee whom you trust to handle your affairs in the event of your death.

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