For most families trying to navigate a life insurance policy claim, the process is relatively straightforward. The insured passes away, and the insurer pays the death benefit to the designated beneficiary(ies). If you need a life insurance beneficiary dispute lawyer, we can help.
What if there isn't a beneficiary? Or worse, what if the heir dies before the claim is processed and paid? These situations can significantly complicate the process of distributing the proceeds of a life insurance policy. We can help resolve your claim and avoid an interpleader action.
Should the primary beneficiary pass away, the decedent's life insurance policy is considered without an heir. Therefore, at this point, the insurer will pay out any death benefits to the deceased's estate instead.
Though unusual, when a primary policyholder and their beneficiary die within 24 hours of one another, things get complicated. Typically, the insurer will payout on the insurance policy based on who passed away first. This means that the final payout could go to the estate or designated heir of either the insured or the deceased beneficiary.
When a primary beneficiary of a life insurance policy dies before receiving their death benefit, their payout typically goes to their estate after having filed a claim. Even if there is a contingent beneficiary chosen by the original insured, the money will go to the deceased beneficiary because they had claimed their benefits while still alive.
In situations where a loved one designates multiple primary beneficiaries, the proceeds would be split equally amongst them. When one of them dies, it would then be divided evenly between the remaining heirs. This is known as per capita distribution.
Keep in mind that if your loved one had opted for per stirpes distribution, then the next generational family member of the deceased beneficiary would receive that portion of the death benefit.
When someone dies and their insurance policy doesn't have a chosen beneficiary, the proceeds usually go to their estate. At that point, it gets distributed with the other remaining assets according to any planning documents left behind. Should your loved one have died intestate (without a will), the state will use succession laws to determine how the assets are distributed among surviving family members.
If you or a loved one are in a situation where a designated beneficiary of a deceased relative's life insurance policy has died, consult with a knowledgeable estate attorney right away. These cases are incredibly complicated and often rely on specific circumstances and criteria to determine what will happen to the remaining death benefits.
Count on our life insurance law firm to help you find a satisfactory resolution that leaves all parties involved satisfied. We're available to take your free consultation request day or night. Discover how quickly your claim experience can become more productive when our lawyers step in to fight for your benefit rights. Reach us online today.