Keep That Beneficiary Designation Up To Date


When a life event such as the birth of child, divorce, or marriage occurs, does your designated beneficiary list need to change as well?

This is a question some may forget to include in the decisions surrounding a life event. Unfortunately, this omission could lead to unfortunate consequences that may not be in line with a deceased’s wishes at the time of passing.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the former spouse of a federal employee in relation to the FEGLI program. The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program offers basic death benefits to federal employees with the option to increase those benefits to greater amounts if so desired.

The federal employee had gone through a divorce and then remarried sometime thereafter, but didn’t remember to change the beneficiary of his life insurance policy. When he passed on, the $125,000 death benefit was directed to his former spouse.

The surviving spouse contested the designation in Virginia state court. Eventually, the case landed on the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled in favor of the former spouse, stating that the designee of the death benefit, chosen by the employee, must be honored.

If you have questions about the FEGLI program, including beneficiary designations, click here.

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