Contingent Beneficiary: What rights does he have?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:19 pm   Post subject:   

What if the primary beneficiary cannot be located (has not been heard from for 24 years) but the contingent beneficiary are located, is it possible for them to have the benefits or does the primary beneficiary have to be found or deceased before the policy can be released?


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emilye 62
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:34 pm   Post subject:   

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I think the primary beneficiary needs to be proven dead or legally disqualified to received the benefits, then only the contingent beneficiary can receive the payouts.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:24 am   Post subject:   

Yes, unless it can be proved that the primary beneficiary has predeceased the insured, the money will eventually escheat to the state, which will hold it until it may be rightfully claimed.



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:51 pm   Post subject:   

The contingent beneficiary actually works as a backup beneficiary. This is to make sure that when the something goes wrong with the primary beneficiary, the next person whom the insured wanted to have the benefits, does get it without it being shared by other people.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:26 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
when the something goes wrong with the primary beneficiary,


The most common "something" that affects the primary beneficiary is death. Criminal involvement in the death of the insured is another "something" that can occur. There are a couple of other legal disqualifications, but those are the top two.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:00 am   Post subject: Contingent beneficiary  

My brother Dermot Quinn passed on 6/18/2012. He named my brother Steve as a beneficiary on a 3000.00 annuity. Steve had died in 2010. Dermot never changed the beneficiary form. Dermot died in Nevada. What are my rights as we are all family? Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:23 pm   Post subject:   

Was the annuity in the pay-in or pay-out phase? If in the pay-in phase, the estate of the annuitant/policyowner is probably the successsor beneficiary. From there, the probate court makes the determination.



If in the pay-out phase, there's no way to tell you what will happen, because the contract controls at that point.



The money could go to someone else or it could all stay with the insurance company. Depends on the annuity option selected.



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:29 am   Post subject: contingent beneficiaries  

My mother had a policy and my father was primary beneficiary and he died. My mother did NOT change the beneficiary and now she died. As a son am I a contigent beneficiary even though she cut me totally out of the will? I was told the personal rep of the estate makes that decision and I disagree. Thank You I thought that an insurance policy is different than the will.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:41 pm   Post subject:   

Normally a life insurance policy is a non-probate asset -- meaning that instructions given to the insurance company are not hampered by any devises in a will or trust. However, when a person dies with no surviving beneficiary, the death benefit proceeds are usually paid to the estate of the policyowner, which most likely is your mother in this instance.



You are not a "contingent beneficiary" of the life insurance unless named as such in the policy. But you may still have a "beneficial interest" in the policy according to state probate law.



Once in the estate, the insurance proceeds are used to satisfy any debts of the estate -- taxes, loans, etc. Distribution of the remainder of the estate is normally guided by instructions left in a will, but you could file a petition in probate to be awarded a share of the life insurance proceeds as a per stirpes next of kin.



The "personal rep" does not make that decision, the court does. You will need an attorney to file a petition for you and argue your case before the court if necessary. Attorneys fees will almost never be awarded by the probate court in a case such as this.



Expect your attorney to take 33% or more of the insurance amount. If the insurance amount is small -- less than $100,000 for example -- you may have trouble finding an attorney who will take the case.



If that happens, you can always file the petition on your own, but you'll probably need a lot of help or have to do a lot of research to be able to write the petition properly and cite relevant case law for your state. You might find an attorney willing to guide you without representing you for a couple of thousand dollars. You will still have to appear at the hearing to argue your position if necessary.



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:01 pm   Post subject: Metlife  

Would Metlife send me claim on my fathers death benefit if i am just contingent benenficery?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:28 pm   Post subject:   

A contingent beneficiary ONLY receives a portion of the death benefit if there is no surviving primary beneficiary above. Depending on how primary peneficiaries are listed, a contingent is frequently NOT in a position to collect any portion of the death benefit if there is just one primary beneficiary surviving on the day the insured died.



Although probate law is based on the PER STIRPES distribution of a decedent's assets, life insurance usually defaults to PER CAPITA instructions which are stated in the contract of insurance.



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:18 pm   Post subject: Life insurance  

If the primary beneficiary of the insured's life insurance policy is "the estate of" the insured and the contingent beneficiary is his spouse, will the spouse receive any benefits.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:00 pm   Post subject:   

There is some missing information here. First, is the insured actually dead yet? Second, in what state is this happening? Third, is this an individual life insurance policy or a group policy?The answer could be affected by state laws or preempted by federal law.



When a person names his/her estate as the primary beneficiary, the money will be used, by law, to settle the affairs of the decedent's estate -- funeral expenses, employee wages (if a business owner), unpaid federal, state, and local income taxes and other unpaid taxes on real or personal property, unpaid unsecured debt, and any other valid claims made against the estate in probate..



Only after those claims against the decedent's assets are satisfied will the court allow a contingent beneficiary to be paid -- if there is anything remaining.



However, if this were to occur in one of the 9 community property states, then the spouse, if still married to the insured at the time of death, he/she would be entitled to half of the proceeds up front. Unless the policy is governed under ERISA, in which case the retirement plan Summary Plan Description holds the controlling language.



In short, if the insured has not yet died, then it is probably time for the insured to reconsider his/her beneficiary designations (as well as for retirement plan contributions and any other benefits, such as accidental death).



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