What Happens When an Insured Under a Life Insurance Policy and a Beneficiary Die Simultaneously in Tennessee?

Posted on Jul 31 2016 4:25PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Sometimes an individual who has a life insurance policy dies at the same time as a beneficiary.  Obviously, this does not happen very often, but it does happen on occasion.  Most often, when this occurs, it is simply just impossible to determine who actually died first.  In Tennessee, we have a statute that addresses this exact situation.  T.C.A. § 31-3-105 provides that when an insured and beneficiary under the policy die simultaneously, then the proceeds of that policy are distributed as if the insured under the policy had actually survived the beneficiary.  The actual language of the statute is as follows:


Where the insured and the beneficiary in a policy of life or accident insurance have died and there is no sufficient evidence that they have died otherwise than simultaneously, the proceeds of the policy shall be distributed as if the insured had survived the beneficiary.


As a result, the life insurance money does not go to the beneficiary who died at the same time under these circumstances.  Instead, the money is distributed pursuant to alternative means under the life insurance policy (such as contingent beneficiaries or even into the estate of the insured).  As a result, if you are involved with a situation where the life insurance policyholder and a beneficiary die at the same time, you should consult a Tennessee attorney who is experienced in handling life insurance issues.


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TAGS: Life Insurance
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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. Contact Jason at 615-540-1004 or jlee@burrowlee.com for an initial consultation on wills estate planning and probate issues.

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Tennessee Wills and Estates Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com