If a beneficiary of a life insurance policy has deceased, do the insured’s heirs receive the insurance benefit?

UPDATED: May 23, 2012

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If a beneficiary of a life insurance policy has deceased, do the insured’s heirs receive the insurance benefit?

Mom was remarried for 11 years and passed almost a year ago. Her husband named her beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Who will receive the life insurance benefit since she passed away before him? She has 2 living heirs and he has 1 living heir. I do not know if he had a Will or anything about his personal business.

Asked on May 23, 2012 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, if the beneficiary f a life insurnce policy is deceased then the "contingent beneficiary" will receive the proceeds from the policy. One can change the beneficiary of an insuranc epolicy at any time.  And he may have done so after your Mother passed.  If he did not and her name is there, he could have named a "next in line" to receive or often his "estate" will receive the proceeds.  Good luck. 

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