Do the terms of a Will override a beneficiary designation?

My wife’s parents made a will dividing their estate. The father passed away, and the mother went to the bank and made beneficiaries to her accounts, which were different than what the Will states. Does this make the Will void or will the monies have to be recovered and divided according to the Will?

Asked on July 12, 2015 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Beneficiary designations generally trump the terms of a Will because the designations allow the funds to pass outside the estate.  Thus they are not included in the Estate as assets when one fills out the Petition to admit the Last Will and Testament for Probate. 


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