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I learned a hard lesson about life insurance policies today. Richard took out a life insurance policy back in the late 70's and paid on it until 2001. I didn't know him at the time he took out the policy. He was briefly married to another woman for 3 years and they divorced, never having any children. Richard thought when he stopped paying on the policy it was dead. It wasn't. I got a letter from the company 3 months ago saying they were changing who was handling the policy so I called to find out what kind of policy it was. I told them Richard died last June 22nd. They told me there was money available on the policy and that they would send me paperwork to sign. They never did so I called them again. They told me I wasn't the beneficiary so they couldn't pay me. They said call back in a month after we do some research. I told them Richards parents had both past away if they were the beneficiarys. They weren't. His ex wife was and now she is getting 100,000 dollars from the policy. I am crushed to say the least. I could have used that money desperately. Richard didn't think it was any good anymore so never looked into it or changed the beneficiary to me. Please make sure you pay attention to life insurance policies as they are written in stone. Whoever the beneficiary is gets the money no matter what. I just hope she appreciates the money that I inquired about. Had I not called the money would have sat there with the company.

Redheadedgammy 9 June 7
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I received a phone call from a lady in SOuthern California telling me my father died. I had not had contact with him since 1970 for good reason. He was a real work, abusive, violent, and a racist. From this womans voice I would say she was black, I say this as my fathers racism would make the relationship weird. Anyway, she told me that there was money and that I had to do some work to get it. I did what I was told to do and found out one day late that almost four hundred thousand dollars slipped through my hands. I felt I was deceived but also decided I did not have the money to chase it as it would come out of my pocket without any guarantee of getting any of it. I finally reasoned that if she got the money it was Natures way of making things even. My not sound right but that is another story. Shit happens and some times there is nothing one can do about it.


😞 I am so sorry about both your losses.

Lorajay Level 8 June 14, 2019

fine print is always important - even if you think its not


I’m sorry.
And it’s a good thing to post so others can be aware. So thank you!
My husband was not one to plan either And although not this exact thing I ran into other stuff. He had an ex and adult kids and I won’t go into it but you are right Life sure sucks sometimes!

Gypsy494 Level 7 June 7, 2019

If lawyer takes your case upon contingency you pay nothing but agree a fee will equal a % of award....if it was an employer regulated benefit you could get it all or all to his rightful heirs....railroad and state employee plans are like that

Thank you for your advice, but I've already spoken to a lawyer and it's a done deal. The policy was taken out long before I knew Richard, and he was married to her at the time the policy was taken out. She was listed as the beneficiary so it all goes to her. Nothing I can do about it. Richard and I didn't have children together while we were married. He never had any children with the ex wife either. I just hope she appreciates that I got the ball rolling and they were able to find her. It's the way life works sometimes. We all get screwed one way or another.

@Redheadedgammy not advising....military and railroad insurance protects the deserving survivors...some states likewise but a large beneficiary payment is rarely accrued by vets or the dwindling railroad families


Ask her for 50% or if he had your children fair portions for all....perhaps a small portion as a memorial gift to his charity or disease foundation that killed him.....write a diplomatic encouraging letter ...include some kind remarks he made about her
....what brought them together long b4 you met him....everything is optional for her unless it is a MILITARY POLICY...IN WHICH CASE THE LAW REQUIRES THE LONGEST TENURED SPOUSE GETD THE WIDOW PENSION OR LIFE INSURANCE POLICY....ASK A LAWYER IF STATE LAW DICTATES most recent spouse, tenured spouse or child inheritance provisions supeceding unintended disbursements


This is good information about estate planning. Thank you.

After my Dad passed away my Mom went to the lawyer as soon as she could stand to.

My sister did the same when her first husband died.

Estate lawyers don't charge a ton - but are usually well worth the meeting every now and then if you have policies. (They sure were worth it to my familiy as the kids left after my Mom passed away had zero to argue about). Well we could have but things were set in stone.

RavenCT Level 9 June 7, 2019

I just hope my misfortune helps others to plan well for their eventual death and make sure the beneficiary is the person they want to get the money from the insurance policy. The insurance company strung me along for three months, which I think was a horrible thing to do. But that's life isn't it????

@Redheadedgammy rotten of them. I bet they didn't enjoy it either.
They're stuck with whatever is written.

It bites though I agree.


Wow! Unfortunately, that's the way it works...


This is a good thing to post. We don't know how to deal with the loss of a spouse in practical terms. Someone needs to write a book.

freeofgod Level 8 June 7, 2019

I sure wish I had known the policy was still in effect even though he stopped paying for it in 2001. He truly thought it was a dead policy after he stopped paying for it. I'm sure he didn't even remember that she was the beneficiary to the policy. Life just really sucks sometimes.

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