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Can I change the beneficiary of my life insurance policy when I separate?

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It is always recommended that you NOT change the beneficiary of your life insurance policy (who is usually your ex-spouse) until you have resolved all financial matters arising from your separation or divorce by way of a separation agreement or court order.

In almost all cases, one or both ex-spouses will have support obligations towards his/her ex-spouse or children after a separation occurs and when that is the case the final settlement inevitably includes an obligation to maintain the other spouse/parent as the beneficiary of some or all of his/her life insurance policy. Should one of the spouses die before a final settlement is reached, the surviving spouse may have rights against the deceased's estate and those dependants' claims can seriously complicate the due resolution of the deceased's estate. Better be safe than sorry so wait until this issues has been fully canvassed in the final settlement before changing your beneficiaries or, worst, cancelling your life insurance policies.

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