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How to name beneficiary to life insurance policy??

Gainesville, FL |

If I have a will and have named a beneficiary to a specific life insurance policy in the will, is that good enough?The policy has no beneficiary named.
If on a life policy I have named a beneficiary but forget and assign the beneficiary as some one different in my will dated more current than the policy who receives the money?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Your will and your policy need to be consistent. Do what you can to amend your will with the assistance of your trusts/estates attorney that prepared the will, and have them write to the insurance company to change the beneficiary so nothing is left to chance.

    These are the sort of things that make probate a mess. Make life easier for everyone and talk to an attorney about doing this correctly.

    The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client relationship.

  2. The person designated as beneficiary on the insurance will be the beneficiary. The beneficiary designation takes precedence over the terms of the Will. If you designate the ESTATE as beneficiary, or if you fail to designate a beneficiary, then usually, the Will determines who receives the policy. Sometimes, if you fail to designate a beneficiary, the insurance company has special provisions for how they deal with it, and they CAN bypass the Will and probate.

    It is always best to designate a beneficiary, whether it is simply to confirm what it says in the Will or to provide for someone outside of the Will.

    James Frederick

    *** 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.

  3. I agree with the answers of the other two attorneys.

    It is important to note that if you include the beneficiary on the specific life insurance policy, it typically takes less time for everything to be processed and there will be less hoops for the beneficiary to jump through. As such, this can be very helpful for the beneficiary who is grieving over the loss of you.

  4. Yes and no. The policy will probably pay to the estate and then the will would take over. This results in probate expense of a non probate asset as you could avoid probate by nameiong the B with the life insurance company. make sure you specify a secondary B.
    You could create a Living Trust and name the trust as the beneficiary and let the tust dispose of the proceeds
    If will conflicts with policy the Life insurance company will pay to the named beneficiary. A will contest could thenresult. Better to make sure they are consistent. A living Trust may better fit your needs

    The information herein is for informational purposes and general information purposes. It should not be relied upon. Consult an attorney for legal advice that you can rely on.

  5. It is essential that you speak with a Florida attorney. In New Jersey when you name a specific beneficiary, upon your death that account passes to the beneficiary immediately WITHOUT going to probate through your Will. So, if you name a beneficary for example on a bank account but your will says everything you have gets split bewteen 3 people then that asset goes to just that one person and not split 3 ways as per your Will. You should sit down with an Estate Planning Lawyer asap.

    This is general advice and you should have a local lawyer perpare your Will and review your Estate to make sure your wishes are properly reflected.

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