If my husband of 40 years has died and left his insurance in his sister’s name, am I entitled to anything?

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If my husband of 40 years has died and left his insurance in his sister’s name, am I entitled to anything?

Asked on April 21, 2017 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As a spouse, you have rights to a portion of your husband's estate, whether or not he had a Will (as to what those specific rights are depends on your state law). In other words, you would be entitled to some of the assets of his estate. Unfortunately, life insurance proceeds pass outside of an estate and are payable directly to the named beneficiary.  Accordingly, your sister-in-law is the legal owner of all monies paid out under your husband's life insurance policy.


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