Click here to skip navigation
This website uses features which update page content based on user actions. If you are using assistive technology to view web content, please ensure your settings allow for the page content to update after initial load (this is sometimes called "forms mode"). Additionally, if you are using assistive technology and would like to be notified of items via alert boxes, please follow this link to enable alert boxes for your session profile.
An official website of the United States Government.

Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

Designations of Beneficiary

  • per stirpes designation means that if a named beneficiary dies before the Insured dies, the children of the named beneficiary are entitled to the benefits, or the grandchildren of the named beneficiary if the children aren't alive, or the great-grandchildren of the named beneficiary if the grandchildren aren't alive, etc. Designations using per stirpes designations are unacceptable. You may want to consider a designation like this, instead:
    Hector Gonzales, my son, 100%, if living  Otherwise to the estate of Hector Gonzales
    You could then specify the per stirpes terms in your will. If Hector is not living when you die, OFEGLI will pay your estate. The estate will follow the terms of the will which include the per stirpes terms. You can download the FEGLI Life Insurance Designation of Beneficiary form here.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • If you have a prior Designation of Beneficiary on file with your human resources office (or OPM's Retirement Office if retired), and you now wish for benefits to be paid by the order of precedence, file a new Designation of Beneficiary and state "Cancel Prior Designations" as instructed on page 2. To see the order of precedence, visit the FEGLI Handbook.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • No, you do not have to complete a designation form.  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 on file, OFEGLI will pay benefits:
    • First, to the beneficiary(ies) you designated;
    • Second, if there is no such beneficiary, to your widow or widower;
    • Third, if none of the above, to your child or children, 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 lived. 
    If you did not assign your insurance and there isn't a valid court order on file, and you are not satisfied with the order of precedence described above, you should complete a designation form and indicate how you want OFEGLI to pay the benefits.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.

Unexpected Error

There was an unexpected error when performing your action.

Your error has been logged and the appropriate people notified. You may close this message and try your command again, perhaps after refreshing the page. If you continue to experience issues, please notify the site administrator.

Working...