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Divorced in Texas, Moved to Indiana, Ex-Wife Beneficiary of Life Insurance

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?
I am the sister and Executor of my brother's Estate. He lived and was divorced in Texas, and relocated to Indiana. He passed away recently (in Indiana) and knew that in Texas, the divorce decree nullified his life insurance and 401K beneficiary designations. If he wanted his ex-wife to be the beneficary he would have to have re-designated her as the beneficiary (per the Texas Family Code). However, his employer (though they knew he was divorced because I told them) did not check on the specifics of his divorce when disbursing life insurance proceeds. What are the responsibilities of life insurance companies in performing due diligence of a deceased person's divorce and stipulations in the Will ? Thank you, MaryinDallas

Dandy Don

Senior Member
It is your brother who perhaps erred here in not having his estate and will evaluated when he moved to Indiana from Texas. If he had been advised properly, he could have made the beneficiary changes himself, since it is probate law IN THE STATE WHERE THE DEATH TAKES PLACE that takes priority. Thus he should not have expected Texas law to apply to his probate situation.

Texas has a law (the Texas Family Code that you mentioned) that prevents the ex-wife from automatically receiving life insurance proceeds and other estate assets unless the decedent has specifically reconfirmed/renewed them after the divorce, so you need to be consulting with an Indiana probate attorney to find out whether Indiana has a similar law. If they do have such a law, then it is possible that the ex may have to repay the proceeds back to the estate.

DANDY DON IN OKLAHOMA ([email protected])

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