Deleting the mention of the beneficiary clause “default, my heirs”, does not necessarily have the expected effect

In the event of the death of the beneficiary of life insurance, the capital is not paid to his heirs but to those of the policyholder. And this, even if the subscriber had taken care to delete the mention “failing that, my heirs”, in the benefit clause.

When he subscribed to the sound life insurance, Mr. X appointed a woman as the beneficiary of the capital on her death, taking care to cross out the standard mention of the clause “failing that, my heirs.” At the time of the subscriber’s death, the person designated in the beneficiary clause had himself died for more than 8 years, without the clause being modified.

The insurer, considering that there was no specific beneficiary, therefore paid the capital to his client’s estate.
Dissatisfied with not receiving the funds, the beneficiary’s son challenged, explaining that the subscriber’s intention was to gratify his mother and her offspring and that by barring the phrase “failing that, my heirs”, he just didn’t want to pass on the funds to his estate.

No mention of the son in the beneficiary clause

The beneficiary’s son could not be allocated the funds since the beneficiary’s clauselife insurance did not mention it. As the beneficiary has died, the capital is added to the assets of the estate to be distributed among the heirs of the subscriber. The fact that the subscriber crossed out the pre-printed mention “failing that, my heirs” in the bare benefit clause does not change anything.

In addition, because there are no designated beneficiaries, the funds will not benefit from the advantageous taxation of thelife insurance and will be subject to inheritance tax.

For the insurance mediator, the insurer did well to pay the funds to the notary of the estate. If the subscriber of a life insurance Designating a person as a beneficiary and their descendants must be inserted, “for example, a statement such as“ alive or desiring ”afterwards,” explains Arnaud Chneiweiss, the insurance mediator to whom the case was submitted. Such an addition allows the representatives of the beneficiary, ie the heirs of the latter to receive the capital, in case of death of the designated beneficiary.


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