Who Receives A Life Insurance Policy If There’s No Beneficiary Named?
Written by Christopher J. Brochu
If your loved one is the insured of a life insurance policy and has passed away, the life insurance company will begin to determine who may be entitled to policy proceeds if a policy fails to name or designate a beneficiary. If a policy owner does not designate a beneficiary on their life insurance policy, the policy benefits may go to the insured’s loved ones in accordance with the order of precedence. In a federal life insurance policy under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI), Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI), or Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), the order of precedence occurs when a living beneficiary is not found, or no living named beneficiary exists.
In that case, the life insurance administrator would look to the order of precedence, payable to a spouse; children; grandchildren; parent; aunt or uncle; cousin; estate; etc. When life insurance benefits are paid in accordance with the order of precedence, the life proceeds will be administered and distributed in accordance with state and federal law. Often, the life insurance company will allow the potential beneficiaries the ability to resolve the claim on their own. If the potential life beneficiaries agree, then the life insurer will pay the policy proceeds in accordance with the beneficiaries’ wishes. However, if the beneficiaries do not agree on life insurance proceeds split, a dispute amongst the beneficiaries may cause the life insurer to file an interpleader lawsuit against any potential life beneficiaries. The life insurance beneficiaries may hire attorneys to represent their interests in a life insurance lawsuit.
If you were not listed as a beneficiary on the life insurance policy but are designated to receive a portion of the policy under the order of precedence, you may still be sued in an interpleader lawsuit to receive those benefits. If no living relative is found, your loved one’s life insurance proceeds may escheat to the state.
The importance of naming a beneficiary on your life insurance policy, even if you have a will, cannot be understated. Naming a beneficiary allows for life insurance benefits to be distributed to the named beneficiaries much faster and avoid probate. Additionally, life insurance policies without a beneficiary named can often lead to a beneficiary dispute, which is a common reason that a life insurance company may delay claims, deny claims, or interplead life insurance claims.
If you or a loved one are involved in a life insurance beneficiary dispute, you should seek legal advice from a trusted life insurance attorney immediately. Time is always of the essence in any life insurance claim. We can help protect your beneficiary rights and work to resolve any payout that you may be entitled to.
Brochu Law, PLLC represents Life Insurance Claims & Interpleader cases on a contingency fee basis. There is no fee unless you win. We advance all costs on behalf of military families and consumers.
Brochu Law, PLLC represents military families and consumers nationwide*
*Disclaimer –Christopher J. Brochu, Esq. is licensed to practice law in the State of Florida. Brochu Law, PLLC works with co-counsel in accordance with state and federal law.
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