2012 New York Consolidated Laws
EPT - Estates, Powers & Trusts
Article 5 - FAMILY RIGHTS
Part 1 - (5-1.1 - 5-1.4) RIGHTS OF SURVIVING SPOUSE
5-1.4 - Revocatory effect of divorce, annulment or declaration of nullity, or dissolution of marriage on disposition, appointment, provision, or nomination re


NY Est Pow & Trusts L § 5-1.4 (2012) What's This?
 
  §  5-1.4  Revocatory  effect  of  divorce,  annulment  or declaration of
  nullity,  or  dissolution  of  marriage  on  disposition,   appointment,
  provision, or nomination regarding a former spouse
    (a) Except as provided by the express terms of a governing instrument,
  a  divorce  (including  a judicial separation as defined in subparagraph
  (f)(2)) or annulment of a marriage revokes any revocable (1) disposition
  or appointment of property made by a divorced individual to, or for  the
  benefit  of,  the  former  spouse,  including,  but  not  limited  to, a
  disposition  or  appointment  by  will,  by  security  registration   in
  beneficiary  form  (TOD), by beneficiary designation in a life insurance
  policy or (to the extent permitted by law) in a  pension  or  retirement
  benefits  plan, or by revocable trust, including a bank account in trust
  form, (2) provision conferring  a  power  of  appointment  or  power  of
  disposition  on  the  former  spouse,  and  (3) nomination of the former
  spouse to serve in any fiduciary or representative  capacity,  including
  as  a personal representative, executor, trustee, conservator, guardian,
  agent, or attorney-in-fact.
    (b)(1) Provisions of a governing instrument are given effect as if the
  former spouse had predeceased the divorced individual as of the time  of
  the revocation.
    (2)  A  disposition,  appointment,  provision,  or  nomination revoked
  solely by this section shall be revived  by  the  divorced  individual's
  remarriage to the former spouse.
    (c) Except as provided by the express terms of a governing instrument,
  a  divorce  (including  a judicial separation as defined in subparagraph
  (f)(2)) or annulment of a marriage severs the interests of the  divorced
  individual and the former spouse in property held by them at the time of
  the   divorce   or   annulment  as  joint  tenants  with  the  right  of
  survivorship, transforming their interests into interests as tenants  in
  common.
    (d)(1)  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  (including  a  former  spouse)  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.
    (2) Written notice  of  a  divorce,  annulment,  or  remarriage  under
  subparagraph  (1)  must  be mailed to the payor's or other third party's
  main office or home by registered  or  certified  mail,  return  receipt
  requested,  or  served  upon  the payor or other third party in the same
  manner as a summons in  a  civil  action  and  may  be  filed  with  the
  secretary  of  state  if  real  property  or  a cooperative apartment is
  affected. Upon receipt of written notice of the divorce,  annulment,  or
  remarriage,  a  payor  or  other  third party may pay any amount owed or
  transfer or deposit any item of property held by it or  with  the  court
  having   jurisdiction   of  the  probate  proceedings  relating  to  the
  decedent's estate or, if no proceedings have been commenced, to or  with
  the  court  having  jurisdiction  over the divorce, the real property or
  cooperative  apartment,  securities,  bank  accounts  or  other   assets
  affected by the divorce or annulment under this section. The court shall
  hold  the  funds  or  item of property and, upon its determination under
  this section, shall order disbursement or transfer  in  accordance  with
  the  determination. Payments, transfers, or deposits made to or with the
  court discharge the payor or other third party from all claims  for  the
  value  of  amounts  paid  to  or  items  of  property  transferred to or
  deposited with the court.

    (e) A person who purchases property from a former spouse or any  other
  person  for  value  and  without  notice,  or who receives from 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. But a
  former spouse or other person who, not for value,  received  a  payment,
  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,  with  interest  thereon,  to  the  person who is
  entitled to it under this section.
    (f) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall  have  the
  following meaning and effect:
    (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" means a final decree or judgment of divorce
  or annulment, or a final decree, judgment or order declaring the nullity
  of a marriage or dissolving such marriage  on  the  ground  of  absence,
  recognized  as  valid  under  the  law  of  this  state,  or a "judicial
  separation," which means a  final  decree  or  judgment  of  separation,
  recognized  as  valid  under  the  law of this state, which was rendered
  against the spouse.
    (3) "Divorced individual" includes an individual  whose  marriage  has
  been annulled or subjected to a judicial separation.
    (4)  "Former  spouse"  means  a  person whose marriage to the divorced
  individual has been the subject of a  divorce,  annulment,  or  judicial
  separation.
    (5)  "Governing  instrument"  includes, but is not limited to, a will,
  testamentary instrument, trust agreement (including, but not limited  to
  a  totten  trust  account  under  7-5.1(d)),  insurance  policy, thrift,
  savings, retirement,  pension,  deferred  compensation,  death  benefit,
  stock  bonus  or  profit-sharing  plan,  account, arrangement, system or
  trust, agreement with a bank,  brokerage  firm  or  investment  company,
  registration  of  securities  in  beneficiary form pursuant to part 4 of
  article 13 of this chapter, a court order, or a contract relating to the
  division of property made between the  divorced  individuals  before  or
  after the marriage, divorce, or annulment.
    (6)   "Revocable,"   with   respect  to  a  disposition,  appointment,
  provision, or nomination, means one under which the divorced individual,
  at the time of the divorce or annulment, was empowered, by law or  under
  governing  instrument,  either  alone  or  in conjunction with any other
  person who does not have a substantial adverse interest, to  cancel  the
  designation  in  favor of the former spouse, whether or not the divorced
  individual was then empowered to designate himself or herself  in  place
  of the former spouse and whether or not the divorced individual then had
  the capacity to exercise the power.

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