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Sixth Circuit Upholds Decision that Divorce Decree Delivered After Death Is QDRO

A couple entered into a separation agreement, which was later incorporated into a divorce decree, in which they agreed to maintain any employer-related life insurance policies for the benefit of their minor child until she turned 18 or graduated from high school. At the time, the father had an employer-sponsored life insurance policy through Sun Life that listed his uncle as the sole beneficiary. The father died without changing the designated beneficiary to his daughter. After his death, but before payment of the life insurance benefits, the daughter’s attorney provided Sun Life with a copy of the divorce decree and separation agreement. Nevertheless, Sun Life paid the benefits to the deceased father’s uncle, and the daughter then sued Sun Life for failing to follow the terms of a qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”). A federal district court originally held that the daughter was entitled to the life insurance benefits, and… Continue Reading

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