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Enforce beneficiary ordered in divorce court?

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According to our divorce decree (VT) in 1996, I was to have been designated benficiary of my ex's life insurance, the money to have been used for the "health, education and welfare" of our children. He neglected to make the designation, naming our children instead. He died in 1999. I now had to be named legal guardian and have to report to probate court on all expenditures and investments of the funds: life insurance, workers comp, and social security. Any way to enforce the divorce order and get out of probate hell? Thanks in advance!




MAY 8, 2001

DEAR lbayer:

There is a legal technicality that may partially benefit you in this situation. In all 50 states of the US, any monies received from life insurance are not considered as part of a decedent's estate and therefore do not have to be reported to the probate court and therefore do not have to be accounted for to the probate court. So, the total amount of the life insurance should be deducted from whatever the remaining balance is that you have to account for.

What is your objection to filing a report occasionally with the probate court, and how often do you have to file?

They are only carrying out the legal obligation to protect the best interests of the children to insure that they are truly taken care of, and want to prevent you from spending all the money on yourself, but I do feel that they should trust you to do this anyway.


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