Are children of a deceased father eligible for death benefits from a life insurance policy if they are not designated as beneficiaries?

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Are children of a deceased father eligible for death benefits from a life insurance policy if they are not designated as beneficiaries?

All of the children are adult age at the time of death. The deceased father had been divorced from the children’s mother and remarried to another person. The new wife was named as the sole beneficiary of the policy. They had been married 12 years at the time of death.

Asked on August 5, 2011 Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When a parent dies a child may or may not be named as a beneficiary in a Will; if the parent dies without a Will a child typically has inheritance rights. However, your case deals with a life insurance policy. And life insurance proceeds pass outside of the probate estate. This means that unless you are named as a beneficiary in the policy, children or not, you have no right to any of the insurance proceeds. I'm afraid that unless your stepmother, the sole beneficiary, is feeling generous you have no right to collect any portion of the proceeds.


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