Q: Divorce decree states 3 grandkids split life insurance after death of grandpa. Can he change that without grandma sign?
1 week or so before his death he changed his policy to disinclude his grandchildren and only include his current wife. Grandma did not give approval. Was this done properly? Do the grandkids have a right to the money from the policy due to it being in the divorce decree?
A: Unless, prior to his death, the insurance company was somehow notified that the designation of beneficiaries was pursuant to terms of the divorce, no, the grandchildren probably can't get the insurance proceeds. The insurance company was not a party to the divorce and therefore is not bound by the decree.
Rand Scott Lieber agrees with this answer
A: If the grandfather was bound by the divorce decree to maintain life insurance for the benefit of the children and he violated the decree, his estate may be liable for the loss suffered by the grandchildren under a breach of contract claim. It also sounds like the change to the life insurance may have been done under duress from his current wife or when he did not have full capacity. These claims can reverse the beneficiary designation change. Schedule a free consultation to make sure all of the details are covered.
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