If the beneficiary of a life insurance policy dies before the insurer and there is no other beneficiary listed, can the mother of the insured’s son file a legal claim to receive the insurance payout?

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If the beneficiary of a life insurance policy dies before the insurer and there is no other beneficiary listed, can the mother of the insured’s son file a legal claim to receive the insurance payout?

Asked on June 6, 2016 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If cases where there is a primary co-beneficiary named on the policy, then the proceeds go to that other beneficiary. However, if the co-beneficiary dies, then if there is a secondary or "contingent" beneficiary, they will receive the insurance proceeds. However, as in your case, if no co-beneficiary or contingent beneficary listed, then the proceeds are paid into the insured's estate. They will then pass as per the residuary clause of the deceased's Will, or if there is no Will, it will pass as per state intestacy law which would allow a claim on the proceeds (and the rest of the estate for that matter) to be made.


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