Charleston, WV asked in Probate for West Virginia

Q: Regarding Non Probate - I'm seeing that includes Life Insurance that pays out to someone other than the executor or adm

What is policy for Life Insurance paid to the Executrix?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
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  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: It is hard to understand what your question actually is, but life insurance is handled outside of probate. Whoever was named as the beneficiary of the policy gets the proceeds, period. It makes no difference whether that individual happens to be the executrix of the decedent's will or not.

If the decedent intended that the life insurance proceeds to be payable to his estate, to be distributed to his heirs, then he should have filled out the death beneficiary form that way. If you have evidence that is what the decedent meant (that the executrix process the funds as part of the decedent's estate), you might be able to get a court to agree, but it will be expensive and it will be an uphill battle. This is one of the many reasons why estate planning should be done with the assistance of an attorney. This might have been a huge do-it-yourself estate planning mistake.

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