About the Author

Diana Shepherd

Diana Shepherd (CDFA®) has over 30 years of experience as a marketing, branding, SEO, copywriting, editing, and publishing expert. As Family Lawyer Magazine, Divorce Magazine, and Divorce Marketing Group’s Content Director, she oversees all corporate content development and frequently creates SEO-friendly videos, podcasts, and copy for family law and financial firms. An award-winning editor, published author, and a nationally-recognized expert on divorce, remarriage, finance, and stepfamily issues, she is a frequent lecturer on the topics of divorce, finance, and marketing – both to local groups and national organizations. She has also been a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® since 2006.


  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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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