Can a relative receive proceeds from an estate even though he is not named in the will.

Asked over 2 years ago - Upper Marlboro, MD

My brother died several years ago and left his estate to my nephews. Situations keep arising where assets in the estate remain but wern't included in the will. Organizations locate me as the nearest living relative. In some cases I have received proceeds ( a life insurance policy) even though I told the organiztion that I wasn't in the will. Another situation has arisen and I notified my nephews. My children feel that I may be inconsiderate of their interests. Are there laws related to my situation?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. George E Meng

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
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    Answered . Often there are assets such as life insurance where there is either a designated beneficiary or the contract provides for a beneficiary other than the probate estate. These assets legally pass outside the provisions of the Will.

  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Wills only control those assets that are in the decedent's sole name at death. Other assets can pass via beneficiary designation like life insurance, IRAs, retirement plans, annuities. Other assets can be set up as payable on death, like US savings bonds, bank accounts, etc. These designations overule or trump anything that is in the will. Get with an estates attorney if you are unsure how to proceed.

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