My parents are listed as the beneficiaries on my life insurance and 401(k), but my new husband is listed as the beneficiary of my will. If I die, will my husband receive the proceeds of my life insurance and 401(k) through my will?
No. Your parents will receive the proceeds of the life insurance and the 401(k). Your will controls the distribution of your probate assets, which are those assets that do not have a designated beneficiary, such as your house.
My boyfriend and I were together for more than 10 years, but we never married. He recently died without a will, and he never listed me as beneficiary on his life insurance and 401(k). Do I have a right to inherit a portion of his estate?
No. One of the advantages of a trust over a will is that a trust does not have to go through probate before assets are distributed to beneficiaries. A trust is usually more expensive and complicated to set up than a will; on the other hand, it can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months (or longer) for a will to go through the probate process.
Probate is the process used to ask a judge (usually a probate court judge) to approve a decedent’s will so the instructions in the will can be acted upon.
- My wife and I are leaving our children with neighbors while we go on vacation. Will a doctor or hospital provide medical care while we are gone?
- Estate Planning FAQ: I have a special needs child. Other than a basic will, is there anything I need to do to provide for that child?
- Estate Planning FAQ: If I get remarried after my first spouse dies, how do I make sure my assets go to my children from my first marriage?
- Estate Planning FAQ: What does it mean to “fund” a trust?