Help a Reader: Life Insurance and Remarriage

Below is an email I got from a reader.  Sharing it anonymously, I’m doing so to get feedback that she was interested in receiving.  If you have any feedback for her on her situation and concerns, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

I recently discovered my husband had his two adult children down on his life insurance as beneficiaries. He said it was an oversight and that it was an accident. So basically I tried to say it’s not an over site as you have to type in your beneficiaries and my name was nowhere to be found on the document, not even as a contingent.

When I try to discuss this with him he gets mad, says he’s sorry, it was an oversight and I’m making a big deal out of an accident. That’s he’s sorry and not going to continue to discuss or keep having this conversation, even though I feel hurt and betrayed. I’m less upset of the money as it’s not but $100,000 is the fact I’m his wife and should have been at least 50% and his adult children 25/25.

This is more about I feel he lied, and won’t admit it. is hurting me, he gets so defensive and tells me, I’m wrong. And I need to drop it. Please post your feedback. Could he have accidently named his kids and not me as an oversight? Or did he type in their names and not wife and partner for 10 years.

We begin couples counseling soon. But I want to hear from others. Can you make an oversight like this or is this BS and he knew exactly what he was doing? Please tell me what you think, as I’m losing my mind. It’s nothing to do with money, it’s trust, and lies. What do you believe?

Readers:  any feedback for her on the whole situation?


  1. says

    Interesting. I really can’t offer much advice here as you are seeing just a piece of the iceberg sticking out of the water, so to speak. What is the rest of the relationship like? What is their marital financial situation? What are their individual financial situations? Does he perhaps have another life insurance policy through work that would cover her?

    I guess if I had any advice to offer it would be to open this up to a bigger discussion and a bigger look. If the relationship is not solid or one/both of the partners have a history of poor financial decisions, these are the things that must be addressed. Focusing just on this is probably not going to solve anything meaningful.

  2. says

    I imagine there are larger problems in their marriage. They must realize that, as they will soon start marriage counseling. As far as the beneficiaries on life insurance, it could have been an oversight, although I doubt it. I try to remember to put my wife down as beneficiary as soon as I open a new account, whether it be a investment account or a bank account, but it is not required. Naming a beneficiary for life insurance is required. The fact that the woman’s husband put his grown children down as beneficiaries and left out his wife says something about their relationship.

  3. Kathy says

    It is possible that in the husband’s divorce decree he was mandated to carry life insurance with his children as beneficiaries. That happened to my brother in law and even though 30 years later his first wife is deceased and his kids are approaching 50, he still has to carry this insurance., However, if this is a new policy and he put the kids on it as beneficiaries, I want to know why.

  4. says

    I’ve counseled some women in the past on financial matters that are a little complicated. Though it would take me to sit with both of them to understand the matter from both person’s perspectives, it seems to me initially that the concerned woman’s husband may be in some kind of emotional stress from his adult children. I sympathize with the woman on her issues but there’s a certain feeling in me that she’s freaking out somewhere. When trust breaks, these kinds of things do happen and I’ll ask the woman to be calm and not freak out because at the end of the day that’s not going to help. I also have a feeling that the woman has also made up her mind in a way or the other. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

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