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An official website of the United States Government.

Life Insurance Designating a Beneficiary

Order of Precedence in the Payment of Unpaid Compensation upon the Death of a Federal Employee

Disposition of Unpaid Compensation in the Absence of a Specific Designation

If there is no designated beneficiary living, any unpaid compensation which becomes payable after the death of an employee will be payable to the first person or persons listed below who are alive on the date title to the payment arises.

  1. To the widow or widower.
  2. If neither of the above, to the child or children in equal shares, with the share of any deceased child distributed among the descendants of that child.
  3. If none of the above, to the parents in equal shares or the entire amount to the surviving parent.
  4. If there are none of the above, to the duly appointed legal representative of the estate of the deceased employee, or if there be none, to the person or persons determined to be entitled thereto under the laws of the domicile of the deceased employee.

It is not necessary for any employee to designate a beneficiary unless he wishes to name some person or persons not included above, or in a different order.

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