What happens if someone dies without a Will and no beneficiary is listed on their life insurance policy?

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What happens if someone dies without a Will and no beneficiary is listed on their life insurance policy?

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Asked on March 24, 2017 under Estate Planning, Alaska

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In such an event, the proceeds are paid to the deceased's estate. Further, when someone dies "intestate" (that means without a Will), then state law provides that the heirs are entitled to all assets that remain after debts of the estate are paid. In a situation where there is a surviving spouse, they split the estate with any children of the deceased and if there are no children, the spouse inherits all. If there is no spouse, then the children, if any, inherit. If there is no spouse or children, the the parents of the deceased share in the estate, and if there are no living parents, then the siblings of the deceased split the estate, etc. Specific state law lays this information out in further detail.


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