In Re Estate of Jeffrey Johnson, deceased, Laurel Christensen v. Dawn Wilson, Personal Representative, 2012COA209 (November 21, 2012)

As your life changes, so should your insurance. This case involves a marriage, life insurance, divorce, and death – in that order. Ex-wife sought life insurance proceeds on a policy to which she was named a beneficiary while married. The trial court dismissed her claims and the court of appeals affirmed. CRS 15-11-804 revokes any revocable disposition of property made to a former spouse, including designations in insurance policies. The divorce removed ex-wife as a beneficiary under the policy. Policy language that requires written notice to change beneficiaries did not abrogate the statute because: 1) regulations created an expectation the law would apply, 2) the parties’ rights are not impaired by the law, and 3) the policy does not expressly exempt automatic revocation. Similarly, the policy could not be reformed because ex-wife lacked standing upon revocation.


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Filed under Contracts, Family Law, Insurance

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