If I was left a dollar amount in my fathers Will but I am also the beneficiary to one of his life insurance polices for the same amount, do I get both?

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If I was left a dollar amount in my fathers Will but I am also the beneficiary to one of his life insurance polices for the same amount, do I get both?

Asked on March 15, 2011 under Estate Planning, Maine

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Without seeing the wording of the Will, it is hard to give advise as to your specific situation.  However, generally, the gift made in a Will and any proceeds payable under a life insurance policy are 2 separate matters.  A Will must be probated; life insurance proceeds pass outside of probate.  Accordingly, it would appear that you are the beneficiary under both instruments.  At this point, you should take a copy of the Will and the insurance policy to a probate attorney for their review.  They can advise further.

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  As I understand your question you are the designated beneficiary under your Father's life insurance policy, correct?  Life insurance policies pass "outside" the Will, which means that it is not included as part of your Father's estate or as part of your inheritance when the Will is probated.  You can indeed collect both the insurance policy and the money left to you in the Will.  What you need to do is to call the insurance company and let them know that your Father has passed away and ask them what they need from you in the form of paperwork to have them issue the check.  You will receive that before the estate is settled.  Good luck.


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