Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Rhode Island

binding divorce agreement

My Father-in-law recently passed awy. It appears he broke the divorce agreement to leave his life insurance to his children. He does have a will. Is there anything that can be done about this?

Asked on 3/17/09, 4:44 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Re: binding divorce agreement

Yes, you file a claim against your father's estate for the amount to be kept in insurance. You may also be able to sue the recipients of the insurance.

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Answered on 3/17/09, 4:57 pm
Joseph Murray Joseph M. Murray, Esq.

Re: binding divorce agreement

My condolences on the passing of your father-in-law.

If the divorce agreement/judgment required a life insurance policy be left for the benefit of his minor children, they, through their legal representative, can file a claim against his estate, and name the beneficiar(ies) of his insurance as co-defendants..

Good Luck!

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Answered on 3/17/09, 5:56 pm
Gabriel Cheong Infinity Law Group

Re: binding divorce agreement

You can try to make a claim against the estate as the two attorneys above have suggested. However, a recent Supreme Court decision came out that is directly on point to your case. It says that a life insurance and retirement account designation trumps any divorce agreement because it is a contract between the deceased and another company. The company has to honor the agreement.

In hindsight, what should've been done in this case, was that the children or the ex-spouse should've taken out a life insurance policy on the deceased instead of leaving it up to him and in his control. They have an insurable interest in his life and therefore, they can take out a life insurance policy on him.

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Answered on 3/17/09, 6:05 pm

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