Legal Question in Insurance Law in Maryland

I live in the state of Maryland and got married in the District of Coumbia. I just lost my husband for 26 years - recenlty found out his deceased mother (15 yrs) and exgirlfriend (before we got married) were listed as beneficiaries on his insurance policy. What rights do I have to the policy as a wife for 26 yrs.

Asked on 7/09/13, 9:16 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Walter E. Laake, Jr. Joseph Greenwald & Laake Pa

So sorry to hear about your loss. The insurance policy 's provisions control but most policies provide that payments will go as directed on the beneficiary form unless state law provides otherwise. In this case 1/2 of the proceeds would probably go to your mother-in-law's Estate and her heirs would receive the benefits.

If your husband was an only child and her husband predeceased her, then 1/2 of the proceeds would then probably go to your husband's Estate.

I believe there is a statute in Maryland that provides that if your beneficiary is a spouse who you have thereafter divorced, the law will void that designation. I need to research that though.

There is no provision similar that provides for designations of prior girlfriends before marriage.

Depending on the size of the policy we may be willing to help you on a contingency fee basis. Please call if I can be of help.

Walter Laake


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Answered on 7/09/13, 11:05 am

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