Who is entitled to the proceeds from a life insurance policy if there is no beneficiary listed?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who is entitled to the proceeds from a life insurance policy if there is no beneficiary listed?

My brother passed away 54 months ago He had a life insurance policy through his job but had no beneficiary listed. He was married and also has surviving parents. Does all the money go to the wife or can his parents/siblings get a portion of it as well?

Asked on December 28, 2017 under Insurance Law, Arkansas


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When no beneficiary is listed for life insurance proceeds, then such proceeds are payable to the deceased's estate. If they had a Will, then the residuary clause in it dictates how the money is distributed; if they had no Will then their surving spouse and children, if any, will inherit.

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