31.(1) Notwithstanding any provision inconsistent herewith, the proceeds of insurance policies, including those issued or appropriated pursuant to the Act respecting insurance (chapter A-32), due by an insurer by reason or on account of the death of the person on whose life the insurance was effected, shall be deemed to be property whereof the ownership, usufruct or enjoyment is transmitted owing to such death and shall be subject to payment of the duties provided for by section 9, according to the degree of relationship which existed between the beneficiary and the person on whose life the insurance was effected, even when the latter did not himself take out the insurance or pay the premiums thereon.
However, the proportion of the sums payable by an insurer, corresponding to the premiums paid by the beneficiary thereof personally and actually borne by him, as compared to the total amount of premiums, and the portion of the said sums which the beneficiary or assignee thereof has otherwise acquired for full valuable consideration shall not be subject to the duties imposed by this act nor included in the aggregate value.
(2) Whenever, after the insured’s death, the beneficiary of an insurance shall relinquish, assign or transfer gratuitously the entirety or part of his rights to another person, the latter shall be considered protanto as the direct beneficiary thereof and shall be liable for the payment of the duties imposed by the present act.
(3) Whenever the deceased was common as to property and no beneficiary of the insurance policy was designated, one-half only of the proceeds of such policy shall be included in the estate.
(4) The debts and charges existing at the time of the death shall be deducted from the proceeds of policies payable to named beneficiaries in the following manner only:
(a) As regards policies governed by the Act respecting insurance, upon production of satisfactory proof that the beneficiary has really paid them and to the extent of the amount paid;
(b) As regards other policies, upon production of satisfactory proof that the acceptance of the insurance benefit carries with it the obligation to pay such debts and charges and to the extent of such obligation.