Isan insurance company required to send a dead beneficiary’s share totheir children ifthey were not named as beneficiaries in the policy?

UPDATED: Feb 1, 2012

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Isan insurance company required to send a dead beneficiary’s share totheir children ifthey were not named as beneficiaries in the policy?

My mom had a life insurance policy to be split 3 ways between me and my siblings. The policy was paid a year late and my brother died during that time period. I was told that the policy would then be split 2 ways but when I received my check I only received 1/3 of the policy and not 1/2 with my brothers share paid out to his kids. His kids were not listed as beneficiaries nor did he leave a Will. Was it legal for the insurance company to pay his kids 1/3 of the policy? the policy was through her employer who didn’t inform the insurance company until a year after she had died.

Asked on February 1, 2012 under Insurance Law, Illinois


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your mother and your brother.

Your brother's children would receive his share of the proceeds.

Your mother had designated her three children as beneficiaries of the life insurance policy.  The death of your brother results in his children receiving his share.

Intestate succession means dying without a Will.  The rules of intestate succession determine inheritance which in this case would result in your brother's surviving children inheriting his share of the proceeds.  Your brother's children inherit his 1/3 and you and your other surviving sibling each inherit 1/3.

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