Insurance Beneficiary

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is a person whether natural or juridical for whose benefit the policy is issued and is the recipient of the proceeds in the insurance.

Who can be a beneficiary?

Any person in general can be a beneficiary.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes.  The only persons disqualified from being a beneficiary are those not qualified to receive donations under Art. 739.  They cannot be named beneficiaries of a life insurance policy by the person who cannot make any donation to him.

In case of adultery, concubinage does the disqualification extend to the illegitimate children?

NO.  The disqualification does not extend to the children, and as such, they may be made beneficiaries.

What is the old rule regarding revocability of designation of beneficiary as enunciated in the case of Gercio v. Sunlife?

The OLD rule is: When the insured did NOT expressly reserve his right to revoke the designation of his beneficiary, such designation is irrevocable and he cannot change his beneficiary without the consent of the latter.

What is the current rule?

The rule now is: The insured has the power to revoke the designation of the beneficiary even without the consent of the latter, whether or not such power is reserved in the policy.  Such right must be exercised specifically in the manner set forth in the policy or contract.  It is of course, extinguished at his death and CANNOT be exercised by his personal representatives or assignees.

Under the current rule, when does the insured lose the right to change the beneficiary?

When the right to change the beneficiary is expressly waived in the policy, the insured has no power to make such change without the consent of the beneficiary.

What if the beneficiary dies before the insured and the insured did not change the designation, who gets the proceeds?

There is a divergence of opinion, but the general trend is to give it to the estate of the beneficiary.