A Naples, FL police officer shot his girlfriend before killing himself. His ex-wife, whom he divorced in 2013, was the designated beneficiary of his police pension. He had made the designation in 2004 during happier times. Florida passed a law in 2012 which provides that if a divorced person fails to change the beneficiary of an asset post-divorce, the ex-spouse will be treated as deceased and not entitled to the asset. Of course, the ex-wife is contesting the applicability of the statute and claiming the pension benefits.
1. Ohio passed a similar statute in 1990.
2. Ohio’s Supreme Court later ruled that the statute was only applicable to beneficiary designations made after 1990. To hold otherwise, would have retroactively modified a contract.
3. If spouses dislike each other enough to divorce, they should follow through to change their wills and beneficiary designations after the divorce is final to avoid leaving them assets at death.
4. Even without the pension, the ex-wife is better off than the girlfriend who was critically injured when she was shot in the face.