What happens to my father’s pension if my mom was listed as the beneficiary but she pre-deceased him?

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What happens to my father’s pension if my mom was listed as the beneficiary but she pre-deceased him?

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

While a primary beneficiary is entitled to the proceeds of a pension upon the death of the pensioner, such rights expire if the beneficiary dies first (i.e. "pre-deceases). Under those circumstances, absent state/federal law to the contrary, the general rule is that the proceeds would be paid to the beneficiaries (if there was a Will) or heirs (if there was no Will) of the pensioner's estate. 


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