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Answered 2006-03-12 15:24:58

With most insurance policies, you are asked to list both primary and secondary beneficiary(ies). If your primary beneficiary(ies) dies or cannot be located, benefits are paid to your secondary beneficiary(ies) in the same manner. If there are no such beneficiaries, then typically it defaults to a widow or widower; then to a child or children; next to parents; to the executor or administrator of your estate; and finally next of kin as determined under the laws of the State where you lived. Some form of court proceedings will probably take place. It is important that you keep your designated beneficiaries' addresses current. Failure to do so could mean that your beneficiary cannot be located and therefore benefits will not be paid to that person.

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Answered 2015-01-05 00:44:16

A beneficiary of a life insurance policy is not required to sign the policy or the designation of beneficiary portion of the application for insurance; the insured signs the application for insurance and designates the beneficiary. The proceeds of a life insurance policy are not payable by the insurer until the death of the insured and upon the submission of documentation specified by the insurer.

As stated in the preceding answer, if the primary beneficiary is no longer alive, proceeds are payable to the contingent beneficiary named on the application.


Keep in mind that a claim must be made for the proceeds; ordinarily the insurer would not know that the insured has died unless a claim is made. However, the law of many states require that life insurers make a periodic diligent search for insureds to determine whether they are living or dead. This can include a search of public records (such as Estate proceedings) or in some cases, obituaries. If it is determined that the insured is dead, the insurer will then be required to make a diligent search for the named beneficiaries. The beneficiaries may be, for example, the persons in charge of administering the Estate. If so, contact will be made by the insurer and the proceeds can be paid. There are other permutations that are possible, but these are some basics.

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How long after death do you have to collect on a life insurance policy if the beneficiary can not be found?

You should contact the legal department of the insurance company and ask for its advice. The company may initiate a search for the beneficiary with the resources at its disposal.



Can the beneficiary on a life insurance be changed after the person has died if a new form has been found?

This would be very tricky and probably involve legal issues. A "new form" found after death changing beneficiary would always bring about suspicions. Did the owner intend to change the policy or not? They did not complete the transaction by filing the change with the insurance carrier. It is my opinion that the court would rule in favor of the beneficiary currently listed on the policy at the time of death. You could never prove the intent of the policy owner to change the beneficiary if they did not file the change of beneficiary form which is a very easy process to do.


Who gets the insurance if the beneficiary cannot be found?

Normally, when one buys an insurance policy a primary beneficiary is designated, as is a "contingent" beneficiary. The latter is second in line to get the proceeds if the primary beneficiary predeceases the insured and the insured does not name a new primary beneficiary. Another circumstance for the contingent beneficiary to get the proceeds is when the primary beneficiary cannot be found. The beneficiary designation(s) on the policy may also provide in addition to, or instead of, a contingent beneficiary that the proceeds get paid to the estate of the deceased insured. If that is the case, the proceeds become a part of the cash assets of the estate and are distributed to heirs in accordance with the Will. If there is no Will, the estate is distributed according to the laws of descent and distribution of the state in which the insured died. If none of the foregoing applies, and after having made a diligent search for the beneficiary(ies), the insurer pays the proceeds to the unclaimed property authorities of the state in which the insured last lived. This is a government agency, or bureau within an agency, and is often annexed to a department of insurance or the chief financial officer of the state. There exists a national organization of unclaimed property offices.


How can you find out if you were the beneficiary of a life insurance policy if the executor of the estate says there was no policy but you believe there was?

Try these links to find out about "lost" life insurance policies: http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Insurance/Insureyourlife/P35421.asp http://www.mib.com/html/lost-life-insurance.html http://www2.iii.org/individuals/life/help/locatelost/ Probate http://www.steveshorr.com/probate.htm http://law.freeadvice.com/estate_planning/probate/representative_fails_perform_duty.htm What does the will say? Insurance policies (especially with specifically named benficiaries) are not normally mentioned in a will. Insurance policies with a named beneficary pass automatically, outside the estate. And only to the beneficiary. The estate can not change that and have it paid to them. If the trustee/estate had any knowelege of a policy, say found in the decedants paperwork, with a beneficiary, they have nothing to gain in any way by not telling the beneficiary. Probably not correct, or a good idea, to make dispersions about them.


What happens if you are hit by an uninsured teen driver and they are found to be at fault?

If you have "Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist" coverage on your policy, then your insurance will cover it at no cost to you.


Your husband died last month and you found an insurance policy on him dated Dec 11931 when he was 1 year old is this policy in force?

It might be and most likely is. You found the policy, contact the claims department of the carrying insurance company.


Does life insurance companies have to pay interest to the beneficiary if the policy holder died 17 years ago and the policy has just been found?

Not enough information is disclosed in order to offer an answer. Was the company ever notified of the insured's death? Who has been paying the premiums for this policy for the past 17 years? Are you sure it hasn't lapsed? What were the original terms of the policy? Too many un-answered questions - you really need to contact the insurance company for assistance.


How do you find out about your fathers life insurance policy if you were told you are the beneficiary?

We need to check about who took over National Burial Ins. Co. We need to check about a burial policy on my dad. My dad passed in April 09. We have just now found the key to his fire proof box with this policy. The papers we have found also states my mother had a policy, she passed in 2005. I need to know who I should contact to cash in this policy. Thanks you for your assistance. Suealan.1@comcast.net


Old policy found is there any value?

That depends upon the type of policy it is. Term insurance has no value once the term expires. Whole life insurance has value, and can be cashed in. Read the terms of the policy. Given that the policy in question was found, and therefore was probably forgotten before it was found, I doubt that is has value - but check and see.


What happens if unable to find beneficiary?

most companies have a set period that they search for a beneficiary. if they arent found in that time frame (it can be years depending on the company) the money goes to the deceased's estate.


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You contact your agent or the companies claims department and tell them you wish to cash in the policy.


Your parents took out life insurance policy on you as child. You just found out at age 50. The beneficiary is parents and then sister-not 4 kids or husband. Do you have a say in this?

Nope. They purchased it when they had the ability to contract and they determine the beneficiaries. You can always purchase your own life insurance with your own money and name your own beneficiaries.


The beneficiary died before the policy holder who is now deseased No contingent beneficiary found who is next in line children or estate Estate was given to step children and not biological children A?

The specific terms of the insurance contract need to be followed. If it addresses what happens if the beneficiary is deceased, (most due as part of the template...gotta read it). It normally says it reverts to the owner (which is frequently but certainly not always the same as the insured), which in this case means his estate. His estate is divided according to his will, or the laws of decent of the State he died in. If it isn't addressed at all, that doesn't mean someone else just steps in - it would actually go to the heirs of the now deceased beneficiary.


Is the home life insurance company of America still in business?

I found an old insurance policy with this company. The insured is Judith A Kneeshaw which is me. Policy # L 5006603. Is it still in effect. Thank you, Judy


What if your brother died and I found a life insurance policy issued in 1937?

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What if the beneficiary of a life insurance is deceased and no contingent beneficiary is named?

In the case where no beneficiaries are living when the insured dies then the proceeds of the policy will be paid to the estate of the insured and handled in the manner according to state law. If the insured had a will then that will specify where proceeds go and if no will is found state law will specify. If the insured had a very large estate then some of the proceeds may be subject to estate taxes as they become part of the estate.



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