When couples divorce, it seems obvious that they should change their beneficiary designations on a variety of accounts. But a recent case before the U.S. Supreme Court shows that sometimes such paperwork slips through the cracks - and highlights the disarray that can arise as a result.
The court ruled earlier this year in Hillman v. Maretta that a decedent's ex-spouse, who was still named as his beneficiary, was entitled to receive his federal life insurance benefits. The unanimous decision came despite the fact that an applicable state law says that a divorce removes an ex-spouse as the beneficiary of a decedent's various death benefits.
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