Beneficiary Designation Divorce Legislation Passed
Under current law, provisions of a will or trust which affect the spouse are void upon divorce or annulment of the marriage. For example, if W (former wife) received anything under H’s (husband) will or trust, W would be treated as predeceasing H subsequent to the divorce or annulment of their marriage. H would not have to make a new will or trust with new provisions to exclude W.
Until recently, no provision provided the same result for certain assets such as life insurance or IRAs. A new bill, H.B. 401, which passed the House on February 23, 2012, the Senate on March 8, 2012 and approved by the Governor on April 24, 2012, provides that a beneficiary designation for certain assets, including IRAs and life insurance, which designate the spouse as a beneficiary, is void upon divorce or annulment of the marriage. The bill will become effective on July 1, 2012.