Are life insurance a part of a deceased’s estate that must be entered into probate?

Asked on July 30, 2015 under Estate Planning, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, life insurance proceeds are not assets of an estate. Consequently, heirs have no rights to such proceeds. Only the person who is listed as the benficiary of the life insurance has the right to them.

Note: If no beneficiaries are listed on the policy, then the proceeds are paid into the deceased's estate and are distributed to either the terms of their Will (if there is one) or state law (if there is no Will).

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