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Are life insurance and retirement can be considered for probate

New York, NY |

are life insurance and retirement can be considered for probate? or they are considered sole property?(my husband has written a will and in his will his son from his past marriage is beneficiary of life insurance and retirement, can I probate it?)





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Attorney Answers 3


  1. Probating the Will is not going to do you any good if the assets are titled in such a way that they bypass probate, (and thereby bypass the terms of the Will). A Will only controls assets titled in the decedent's name alone, with no beneficiaries or joint owners.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  2. Generally assets that have beneficiaries designated become the property of beneficiary. They are usually not considered "probate" assets. However, as a surviving spouse you may be entitled to elect against certain assets that pass outside of the probate estate. Simply stated, you may be entitled to a percentage of the probate assets even though a beneficiary has been named.

    This area of law is complex; I urge to consult with an experienced estate attorney.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationship has been formed. Before choosing a course of action, it is always advisable to seek the advice of an attorney in your area.


  3. Attorneys Karvay and Frederick are correct. It is unclear from your question, but I am hopeful that your husband is still alive and can address this issue with proper estate planning. For example, your husband could create a Revocable Trust and name the trust as the beneficiary of his life insurance, retirement accounts and transfer his other assets to the trust via his Will. Then, if you survive your husband, you could be the beneficiary of the Revocable Trust during your lifetime and his son could benefit after your death. In this way, both you and his son would benefit from his assets. Unfortunately, if your husband has passed away, it is too late for this type of planning. Either way, please consult an experienced New York attorney to assist you in this matter. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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