Absent marital settlement agreement providing who is or is not to receive the death benefits or specifying who is to be the beneficiary of policy, plan, or account, courts should look no further than the named beneficiary in the separate document of the policy, plan, or account. General language in a marital settlement agreement, such as language stating who is to receive ownership, is not specific enough to override the plain language of the beneficiary designation in the separate document of the policy, plan, or account.
Laura Morgan is a Family Law Consultant. Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website. www.famlawconsult.com