Skip to main content

Life Insurance Question.

Santa Cruz, CA |

If a person has a living trust in California, can they have a life insurance policy that leaves 100% of the policies death benefits to one child even though the heirs to the trust are all 4 children? Thanks

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

Yes, life insurance policies pass to the designated beneficiary. If the trust is not named as the beneficiary the owner of can designate anyone the owner wishes as beneficiary and can exclude from the benefits the beneficiaries of the trust.

I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


A person can have one heir as the beneficiary and keep it separate from the trust.

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.



This response is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Any information provided is for educational purposes only. To schedule an appointment for an attorney-client privileged consultation, contact me at 530-231-4949 or visit our website at The exchange of communications through and similar social media does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me or my office. Thank you.


Yes, this can be done. It happens all the time. This is one of the things that could easily defeat the objectives of the decedent. OR it could be that the deceased intended everything BUT the insurance to be equally divided. It all depends on the facts. The non-beneficiary siblings always assume that it was the intent that the insurance be part of the equal split. The problem with that is that it is usually just as easy to name all of the siblings as beneficiaries, instead of the one.

There are times when the insurance is intended to be used to pay for the funeral expenses. Even in this case, if the beneficiary refuses to use the proceeds for that purposes, there is no legal requirement for them to do so. This is one of the reasons it is a bad idea to name only one beneficiary on any asset, UNLESS it is the intent of the decedent that that beneficiary receive the asset on their own.

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!