What will happen toa lifeinsurance claim if the beneficiary is already deceased?

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What will happen toa lifeinsurance claim if the beneficiary is already deceased?

My deceased aunt made my deceased mom her sole beneficiary of a life insurance policy. I got the documents from the insurance company and when I called them they mentioned that the insurance will go to the estate of my aunt. Please enlighten me more on this. What will happen to the insurance claim when it goes to the estate? Does it mean, even if my mom is the sole beneficiary, her other siblings may also get a share of the benefits? Can I claim the benefits for my mom?

Asked on January 19, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems that have resulted here.  Here is the thing: if your Mother pre-deceased your Aunt and there is no contigent beneficiary under the policy then the proceeds are payable to the estate of the person who held the policy.  That is what it sounds like happened here.  How it will be distributed once it goes in to the estate pot so to speak depends on if there is a Will or your aunt dies intestate (with out  Will) and who here beneficaires are under the law.  You can not step in to your Mother's shoes to claim the money through the insurance company directly.  Good luck.


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