What happens if a life insurance policy doesn’t have a beneficiary but the deceased’s Will states one?

Asked on November 11, 2015 under Estate Planning, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If there is no beneficiary listed on the policy, then the policy's proceeds become part of the deceased's estate and will be distributed as indicated by the will, along with any/all other assets being distributed as per the will. This may expose the proceeds to estate tax, which it would not be exposed to if they went directly to a beneficiary listed in the policy.

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