Where do benefits of life insurance policy go if the main beneficiary passed away before the policyholder and there were no Wills?

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Where do benefits of life insurance policy go if the main beneficiary passed away before the policyholder and there were no Wills?

My mother (had 4 kids and no will) passed 4 years ago and we still have not probated her property. My older brother stayed living on her property until 9 months ago when he also passed. My brother was (5 years divorced) retired and had only 1 son. He also had life insurance that I tried to get access to bury him properly. The son who became executor of my brother’s estate retrieved my brothers belongings from my moms property and also tried to get my brother’s life insurance but found out the main beneficiary was my mother. Does the boy get the benefits or my mom’s kids?

Asked on June 14, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses.  The policy itself will govern what happens to the proceeds.  Generally, when a designated beneficiary of a policy no longer exists the policy provides that the proceeds will pass to the decedent's estate.  Since your Mother pre-deceased your brother the proceeds will most likely go to his heirs not hers.  Good luck.


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