Sorting through your loved one’s financial affairs after death is often challenging. It can be especially daunting if you learn your loved one’s former spouse remained the beneficiary of your loved one’s life insurance policy or retirement plan. It’s important to know the steps to take in this situation. 

Make Sure the Money Goes to the Right Person

The law allows ex-spouses to receive life insurance and retirement account money in some, but not all, circumstances. Accordingly, you must take specific steps if you believe the former spouse should not be the beneficiary of the life insurance policy or retirement account. Specifically, you must:

Louisiana Succession and Probate word cloud
  • Locate all of the important papers. These papers include but are not limited to the couple’s divorce decree, the retirement account papers, and the life insurance contract. The specific legal language of all of these papers must be carefully reviewed to determine whether the former spouse is the rightful beneficiary.
  • Put the insurance company or retirement plan on notice. Let the insurance company, financial institution, or investment company know that there is a legal issue about whether the named beneficiary should receive the insurance or retirement money. Once they’ve been notified of the issue, the former spouse should not be paid until the issue is resolved.
  • Contact a lawyer. There is too much money at stake to take any unnecessary chances. An attorney can make sure that you have all the right papers, that the legal documents are properly interpreted, and that notice is provided to the proper parties.

It’s more difficult to recover what you believe is yours from an insurance or retirement plan if you challenge the document after the former spouse already has been given the money. Because you have a lot at stake, our Louisiana estate litigation lawyers are here to provide you with an honest and accurate case review. Please contact us through this website or by phone to get started on your case.


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