1. 4470 POINTS
    Brandon Roberts
    Owner, The Insurance Pro Blog,
    This depends on the type of contract.  There are two types of annuity contacts:

    1. Owner driven contracts

    2. Annuitant driven contracts

    What happens on death depends on which type.

    For an owner driven contract, when the owner dies the contracts cash surrender value is paid to the named beneficiary(ies) of the contract.

    For annuitant driven contracts, when the annuitant (not necessarily the owner) dies the cash surrender value of the contract is paid to the named beneficiary(ies) of the contract.

    Almost all contracts issued today are owner driven contracts.  Most annuitant driven contracts found today are older annuity contracts.  It is prudent to figure out which kind of contract you have, especially if you have a different owner and annuitant.
    Answered on August 23, 2013
  2. 63333 POINTS
    Peggy Mace
    Most of the U.S.
    What happens to an annuity upon death depends on the type of annuity you have and the contractual stipulations. 

    If you have an annuity that was set up to pay out for the rest of your life, there may be not benefit paid upon your death. Some Life Annuities will return what was paid in or pay for a guaranteed number of years. A Joint with Last Survivor Annuity will continue payments to the spouse. 

    For annuities that will are set up to pay a fixed number of years, annuity payments will continue to the beneficiaries just as if they did before. If the annuity was not yet annuitized, the proceeds must be received by the beneficiaries within 5 years. 

    Contact your agent or the company through which your annuity was secured to understand the specifics about your particular contract.
    Answered on August 24, 2013
  3. 5877 POINTS
    Stan Cox II
    Insurance Adviser - Broker, SC Insurance Services, Oahu, Hawaii
    Good question! What happens to an annuity after the death of the annuitant depends on the type of annuity contract. Some annuity contracts have named beneficiaries where others simply end on the death of the annuitant. If the annuitant dies before the annuity is depleted in a term certain or sum certain contract the balance of payments or the balance of the sum will be paid to the beneficiary. If the annuitant dies having a life certain contract, the balance if any defaults to the issuer.
    Answered on August 16, 2015
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