Fegli Beneficiary-Who Gets Your Benefits When You Die?
One of the most critical issues that you need to be clear about when it comes to your Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) coverage is your beneficiaries.Specifically, the question here is about who gets your FEGLI life insurance benefits when you die? It’s quite simple, once you know the particular order in which the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) will pay your life insurance benefits to your Fegli Beneficiary.
The first thing that will be considered is whether you assigned ownership of your life insurance. If so, OFEGLI will pay benefits to the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by your assignee. If there are no such beneficiaries, then the benefit goes to the assignee or assignees.
If you did not assign ownership, the next thing they will seek is a valid court order, which is usually provided when someone lays claim to FEGLI benefits. So in the pecking order for FEGLI claims, the court order comes after an assignee.
If there is no assigned ownership nor a valid court order, OFEGLI will then pick the beneficiary or beneficiaries you designated when you signed for FEGLI coverage. If there is no such designated beneficiary, your FEGLI life insurance benefits will go to your surviving spouse.
If you do not have a surviving spouse at the time of your death, the benefits will go to your children. If one or more of your children are deceased at the time of your death, their share of the benefits will go to their own children – your grandchildren.
If you have no surviving spouse, children or grandchildren, then your benefits will go to your parents, to be divided equally between them. If only one parent is still alive, the entire benefits will go to that parent.
If you have no surviving parents at the time of your death, the FEGLI life insurance benefits will then become a part of your estate, under the control of the administrator or executor of the estate. If there is no estate, then the benefits will go to your closest next of kin, to be determined by state law in your state of residence.
Why You Need to Pay Attention to Fegli Beneficiary and Assignment
Sounds fairly simple, yes? Maybe so, but claiming FEGLI life insurance benefits when there is some doubt about who it should go to can be hellishly complicated. One such case was recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, because a dead federal employee had neglected to change his designated FEGLI beneficiary to his new wife after a divorce. So the ex-wife laid claim to the benefits, and the new wife went to court over it.
There are any number of such situations that can arise if you do not keep your Fegli Beneficiary and ownership assignment clear and simple. Just follow the aforementioned order, and you should be fine.