Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New York

My father made me the primary beneficiary on two life insurance ; but made my sister the executor of his will. Can she take any of that money my father bequeath to me? Thank You.

Asked on 5/28/20, 11:56 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

John O'Donnell Attorney at Law

You have raised several issues with your question. A person's Last Will & Testament cannot override his/her life insurance beneficiary designation. Life insurance is paid directly to the beneficiaries. It will not pass through the decedent's estate. In this context a person's estate includes only those assets that were held in the decedent's name alone. An executor of a person's Will cannot distribute assets in accordance with their own wishes. They are constrained by the terms of the Will.

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Answered on 5/28/20, 12:51 pm
Richard Bryan Richard Bryan Attorney PC

Please accept my condolences on the loss of your dad.

There are some circumstances where the executor can recover some part of the life insurance for the estate, for various reasons. But, those are very, very rare. Almost never. You should already have collected the insurance proceeds and have those invested wisely.

Once again, I'm sorry for your loss.

Good luck.

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Answered on 6/01/20, 7:15 pm

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