Little Chute, WI asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin

Q: My son and daughter in law died. DIL had life ins with my son as beneficiary. Does that policy get spllit in the estate?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: I am sorry for your loss. If your daughter-in-law named your son as the primary beneficiary, then he would receive the proceeds if he survived her. If she named a contingent beneficiary, then that person would receive the assets if your son did not outlive the survival period outlined in the policy. If she did not name a contingent beneficiary, then for most policies your son's Estate would likely be the default beneficiary (meaning the proceeds would pay to his estate and be distributed according to his Will (if he had a Will) or if he did not have a Will then according to the Wisonsin Intestate Statutes through the probate court process. Check the actual terms of the life insurance policy and the beneficiary designation form on file with the company to be sure. That will be the final answer on all of this, since an insurance contract is a matter of contract law. I would work with a good probate attorney to examine the dates and timing of each death and the beneficiary designation form and insurance policy language to determine the order of payment, and the specific contract language as those dates are going to make a big difference to the answer to this question.

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