Who Gets the Money After I Die?
When you die, the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) will pay life insurance benefits in a particular order, set by law:
- If you assigned ownership of your life insurance by filing an Assignment, Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (RI 76-10), OFEGLI will pay benefits:
- First, to the beneficiary(ies) designated by your assignee(s), if any;
- Second, if there is no such beneficiary, to your assignee(s).
- If you did not assign ownership and there is a valid court order on file, OFEGLI will pay benefits in accordance with that court order.
- If you did not assign ownership and there is no valid court order (see below) on file, OFEGLI will pay benefits:
- First, to the beneficiary(ies) you designated;
- Second, if there is no beneficiary, to your widow or widower;
- Third, if none of the above, to your child or children in equal shares, with the share of any deceased child distributed among descendants of that child (a court will usually have to appoint a guardian to receive payment for a minor child);
- Fourth, if none of the above, to your parents in equal shares or the entire amount to your surviving parent;
- Fifth, if none of the above, to the executor or administrator of your estate;
- Sixth, if none of the above, to your other next of kin as determined under the laws of the state where you legally resided.
If you want payment to be made differently from the order listed above, and you have not assigned your life insurance and a valid court order is not on file, you must designate a beneficiary.
If you wish to make a designation for your Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), you should complete a Designation of Beneficiary (SF 2823) and submit it to ABC. Your human resources office must receive the form before you die. Contact ABC to learn what method of delivery it accepts for FEGLI designations. A court-appointed guardian, or someone with your power of attorney, or other fiduciary may not designate a beneficiary for your insurance. If you are satisfied with the order of payment listed above, however, you do not need to do anything.
A valid court order refers to a certified court decree of divorce, annulment, legal separation, or the terms of a court-approved property settlement agreement relating to a court decree of divorce, annulment, or legal separation that your human resources office receives before your death. Such an order must expressly provide for someone to receive your FEGLI benefits. If a valid court order is on file, it takes precedence over previously filed designations.