About the Author

Diana Shepherd, CDFA®

Diana Shepherd has over 30 years of experience as a marketing, branding, SEO, copywriting, editing, and publishing expert. As Content Director for Family Lawyer Magazine, Divorce Magazine, and Divorce Marketing Group, she oversees all corporate content development and frequently creates SEO-friendly videos, podcasts, and copy for family law and financial firms. The Co-Founder of Divorce Magazine and Divorce Marketing Group, Diana is an award-winning editor, published author, and a nationally recognized expert on divorce, remarriage, finance, and stepfamily issues. She has written hundreds of articles geared towards both family law professionals and divorcing people, and she has both performed and taught on-page SEO for 20+ years. Diana spent eight years as the Marketing Director for the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts® (IDFA®), and she has been a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® since 2006. While at IDFA, she wrote, designed, and published The IDFA Marketing Guide, and she also created seminars for CDFA professionals to present to family lawyers (approved for CLE), as well as to separated and divorcing individuals. She has represented both DMG and IDFA at industry conferences and events across North America, and she has given marketing as well as divorce financial seminars at many of those conferences.


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    SANDY ARCHDALE, CSA - Certified Senior Advisor

    Ms. Shaner – your article addresses pension plan beneficiary forms. However, I have a client now living in WA whose ex-husband died in 2006. They had lived in PA during their marriage. She was recently notified by an insurance company that there were two small life insurance policies naming her as his beneficiary. However, a few weeks ago, they changed their position and stated that altho she is the named beneficiary, that PA law requires that she be passed over and that the life insurance proceeds are to be paid to their two surviving adult kids. Based on the Kennedy v. DuPont case decided by the US Supreme Court, how can this be? It would seem that a signed beneficiary form, regardless of how stale it is, should trump everything.

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    Cindy H

    Help. Need legal advice about an annuity in Iowa that my husband should be entitled to after his father’s death. However, dad’s first choice was his girlfriend who left him and refused to marry him. Dad specifically requested son become beneficiary. My husband mailed change of designation to the company. They said he did not get the form in within 60 days of signing paperwork and they mailed refusal to father’s out of state address even after we sent them change of address. Father died and the girlfriend stands to get the windfall. We live in Michigan and she is in Alabama.


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