# What happens if my primary and one of my contigent beneficiaries pass away? How are percentages disbursed?

When updating my benefits, how should I assign beneficiary percentages? The way I have it setup currently is:

• Spouse: 100% / Primary
• Child-1: 34% / Contingent
• Child-2: 33% / Contingent
• Child-3: 33% / Contingent

What happens if an accident occurs involving me, my spouse and one child?

• Mostly this: policygenius.com/blog/… – Hilmar May 5 '18 at 22:48
• The way we do it here: you summarize the link in an answer of your own. Not just throw out a link (to a pretty great explanation). Unless of course, you were driving when you posted the comment. – JoeTaxpayer May 6 '18 at 19:40
• @JoeTaxpayer: Noted. This seemed like a really good answer to the questions and me summarizing was likely to do more harm than good. I'll do it differently next time – Hilmar May 7 '18 at 15:40
• Is this about beneficiaries of a will, or of, say, a life insurance policy? For a will, you would typically include a clause (or word the original) so that if the spouse has died, the benefits go equally to the surviving children. For an insurance policy, I guess you would have to ask the company if they can accommodate a clause of that nature. – TripeHound May 8 '18 at 10:16

I allocated units to family, friends and charities. For example (made up numbers), an immediate family member might get up to 15 units. A cousin, friend or charity might get 1/2 to one unit. The maximum value that a unit can be worth is $20k. Upon my demise, they'll tally what my estate is worth as well how many beneficiaries are still alive (which determines the total number of units). Divide the latter into the former. If the unit is worth less than$20k, disburse everything. If more than $20k, spread the excess among some secondary beneficiaries (charities) as per another allocation of units. For some of the recipients, their total allocation is spread over 5-10 years because I don't want them to receive a large lump sum (unless a unit is worth less than$5k and then, they get the lump sum immediately). Because of the formula, everything is self adjusting, keeping the ratio of bequathals in proportion for the many recipients, regardless of who's alive when I kick the bucket.