this benefit had four designated beneficiaries and the estate was to be divided equally six ways
The life insurance policy is not part of the probate estate if it has designated beneficiaries unless the designated beneficiary is the estate or the designated beneficiaries predeceased the decedent. In your example the life insurance policy will be split four ways betweens its designated beneficiaries, assuming they are all living, and the probate estate will be divided six ways.
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The death benfits of a life insurance policy are NOT an estate asset if the policy has designated beneficiaries who are alive. The benefits only need to be divided with the named policy beneficiaries and not with the estate beneficiaries.
This answer has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
I agree with the other attorneys that the life insurance is not part of the Probate estate. However, it may be part of the decedent's Gross estate. The four beneficiaries who were designated will be the beneficiary of the policy and any assets in the decedent's individual name will go the beneficiaries under his/her will. This of course, assumes that the the life insurance policy was not held in an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust.
I agree with the other attorneys.
Once in a while I will suggest to the owner
of a life insurance policy that the beneficiary be a trust if the owner wants to
stretch the payments over a period of time instead of a outright distribution.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
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