2020 Code of Alabama
Title 30 - Marital and Domestic Relations.
Chapter 4 - Husband and Wife.
Article 1 - Property Rights; Tort and Contract Rights and Liabilities.
Section 30-4-17 - Revocation of Certain Transferable Interests in Property Upon Divorce or Annulment.

Universal Citation: AL Code § 30-4-17 (2020)

Section 30-4-17

Revocation of certain transferable interests in property upon divorce or annulment.

(a) In this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) DISPOSITION OR APPOINTMENT OF PROPERTY. Includes a transfer of an item of property or any other benefit to a beneficiary designated in a governing instrument.

(2) DIVORCE or ANNULMENT. Any divorce or annulment, or any dissolution or declaration of invalidity of a marriage, that would exclude the spouse as a surviving spouse within the meaning of Section 43-8-252. A decree of separation that does not terminate the status of husband and wife is not a divorce for purposes of this section.

(3) DIVORCED INDIVIDUAL. An individual whose marriage has been terminated by divorce or annulment.

(4) GOVERNING INSTRUMENT. An instrument executed by the divorced individual before the divorce or annulment of his or her marriage to his or her former spouse.

(5) RELATIVE OF THE DIVORCED INDIVIDUAL'S FORMER SPOUSE. An individual who is related to the divorced individual's former spouse by blood, adoption, or affinity during the marriage and after the divorce or annulment, who is no longer related to the divorced individual by blood, adoption, or affinity.

(6) REVOCABLE. With respect to a disposition, appointment, provision, or nomination, one under which the divorced individual, at the time of the divorce or annulment, was alone empowered, by law or under the governing instrument, to cancel the designation in favor of his or her former spouse or former spouse's relative, whether or not the divorced individual was then empowered to designate himself or herself in place of his or her former spouse or in place of his or her former spouse's relative and whether or not the divorced individual then had the capacity to exercise the power.

(b) Except as provided by the express terms of a governing instrument, a court order, or a contract relating to the division of the martial estate made between the divorced individuals before or after the marriage, divorce, or annulment, the divorce or annulment of a marriage:

(1) revokes any revocable:

a. disposition or appointment of property made by a divorced individual to his or her former spouse in a governing instrument and any disposition or appointment created by law or in a governing instrument to a relative of the divorced individual's former spouse;

b. provision in a governing instrument conferring a general or nongeneral power of appointment on the divorced individual's former spouse or on a relative of the divorced individual's former spouse; and

c. nomination in a governing instrument, nominating a divorced individual's former spouse or a relative of the divorced individual's former spouse to serve in any fiduciary or representative capacity, including a personal representative, executor, trustee, conservator, agent, or guardian; and

(2) severs the interests of the former spouses in property held by them at the time of the divorce or annulment as joint tenants with the right of survivorship transforming the interests of the former spouses into equal tenancies in common.

(c) A severance under subdivision (2) of subsection (b) does not affect any third-party interest in property acquired for value and in good faith reliance on an apparent title by survivorship in the survivor of the former spouses unless a writing declaring the severance has been noted, registered, filed, or recorded in records appropriate to the kind and location of the property which are relied upon, in the ordinary course of transactions involving such property, as evidence of ownership.

(d) Provisions of a governing instrument are given effect as if the former spouse and relatives of the former spouse disclaimed all provisions revoked by this section or, in the case of a revoked nomination in a fiduciary or representative capacity, as if the former spouse and relatives of the former spouse died immediately before the divorce or annulment.

(e) Provisions revoked solely by this section are revived by the divorced individual's remarriage to the former spouse or by a nullification of the divorce or annulment.

(f) A payor or other third party is not liable for having made a payment or transferred an item of property or any other benefit to a beneficiary designated in a governing instrument affected by a divorce, annulment, or remarriage, or for having taken any other action in good faith reliance on the validity of the governing instrument, before the payor or other third party received written notice of the divorce, annulment, or remarriage. A payor or other third party is liable for a payment made or other action taken after the payor or other third party received written notice of a claimed forfeiture under this section.

(g)(1) A person who purchases property from a former spouse, relative of a former spouse, or any other person for value and without notice, or who receives from a former spouse, relative of a former spouse, or any other person a payment or other item of property in partial or full satisfaction of a legally enforceable obligation, is neither obligated under this section to return the payment, item of property, or benefit nor is liable under this section for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit.

(2) A former spouse, relative of a former spouse, or other person who receives a payment, an item of property, or any other benefit to which that person is not entitled under this section is obligated to return the payment, item of property, or benefit, or is personally liable for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit, to the person who is entitled to the payment, benefit, or property under this section.

(3) If this section or any part of this section is preempted by federal law with respect to a payment, an item of property, or any other benefit covered by this section, a former spouse, relative of the former spouse, or any other person who receives a payment, an item of property, or any other benefit to which that person is not entitled under this section is obligated to return that payment, item of property, or benefit, or is personally liable for the amount of the payment of the value of the item of property or benefit, to the person who would have been entitled to it were this section or part of this section not preempted.

(h) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any insurance policy for which the former spouse is named beneficiary, if the former spouse is listed as owner of the policy or makes premium payments on the policy following the divorce or annulment.

(Act 2015-312, §1.)

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