Skip to main content

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

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

Posted

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.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Posted

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.

Hope this helps.

Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Tax law topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics