If you plan uses the Standard option to distribute death benefits where there is not a valid beneficiary designation on file, you can refer to Section 7.04(c) in the base plan document. This section provides the assets shall be payable:
- First to the Participant’s spouse;
- If no spouse, then children in equal shares;
- If no spouse or children, then to the estate.
Where all beneficiaries designated have predeceased the Participant, Section 7.04(c) would also be followed.
The document is written as per capita. With this method, the benefits are paid only to the designated beneficiary alive when the participant dies.
Our Beneficiary Designation Form does provide the option to designate the beneficiary as per stirpes. With this method, benefits are paid to the descendants of the predeceased beneficiary.
Below is a helpful chart of the two.