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In order for your contingent beneficiary or beneficiaries to come into play on your Mortgage Protection Term Life Insurance death benefit, your primary beneficiary or beneficiaries must predecease them and you. As simple as this sounds, many people get confused when a primary beneficiary dies after the insured has died but before a death benefit payment is made.
If your primary beneficiary dies after you die but before the life insurance death benefit is paid out, then the life insurance death benefit will be paid to their heirs, rather than to the contingent beneficiary(ies). That's because the primary beneficiary was alive when the insured passed away, which makes their heirs entitled to your death benefit.
If a primary beneficiary should die before the insured, even just by minutes, then their heirs are no longer entitled to the death benefit and it will instead be sent to the contingent beneficiary or beneficiaries.