Divorce Solutions

Question #149

My father passed away on Oct 28, 2005. He had not lived with his second wife for almost 12 years before he passed; My dad was sick, gave me power of attorney, and told me what he wanted to do with the money from his life insurance policy (which was to distribute it amongst myself and my three other siblings.) After his death, I found out that I was not on the life insurance policy as a beneficiary, but he never removed his second wife from the policy. After that much time apart, are they considered divorced due to abandonment? If they are divorced, what do I have to do to stop her from getting the money?

Unfortunately for you, if your father never legally divorced his 2nd wife,
she is still considered his wife. Secondly, if he told you that he wanted you and your siblings to be the beneficiaries of his estate, you should have asked for a copy of the insurance policy and made sure that it reflected his wishes.
This is why it is essential to review and update all documents with a qualified attorney to make sure the legal papers reflect the wishes of the testator.
Check with the insurance company to see if your father amended his beneficiaries at a later date or if a Pre- or Postnuptial Agreement or Separation Agreement was executed by which she agreed not to claim any interest in his estate or insurance policy.

Good luck!

Leonard Weiner, Esq. Divorce Solutions