By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s one thing to forget to put the dishes in the dishwasher, but forgetting this would really make you want to kill your husband, if he weren’t already dead.
Michael Cox of Morris County, New Jersey signed up for a $100,000 life insurance policy through his employer in 1996 and named his sister as the beneficiary. He got married in July of 2012, but died tragically in an accident in November of the same year without having changed the beneficiary of the policy to his new wife.
So who gets the money? The wife, who would automatically get a share of his assets under the law, or the sister who was named as the beneficiary of that insurance policy?
The New Jersey appeals court just ruled on that – and said that it is the person who is named on the policy (in this case, the sister) who gets the money even if he got married after he had bought the policy.
So, your lesson is: it’s not enough to say “I do”. If you really want to protect your new spouse, you need to go through your finances and say “I do want you to get the proceeds of my life insurance policy.” And then tell that to the insurance company while you still can.