If a Will states that the surviving siblings are to split the estate 50/50, does this also include any policies that have only one of them as a beneficiary?

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When a person dies not all of their assets pass according to the terms of their Will. Some assets go directly to the named beneficiaries of the asset. The Will provisions have no effect on these transfers; only assets that pass through the probate estate are effected by the provisions of a Will. So for example, the beneficiary of a life insurance policy takes the proceeds fully regardless of what a Will may or may not provide regarding such funds. The same holds true for funds in an IRA, pension, 401(k), or other retirement plan or a trust.

Consequently, the sibling who was the beneficiary of any policy need not share it with the other sibling, 50/50. This is true regardless oif the testator's intent .

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