If my husband dies and we have life insurance on him does he need a will? 28 Answers as of October 29, 2013

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Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
No. Not if he names beneficiaries in the insurance policy.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 10/29/2013
Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
You do not need a will to claim the benefits of his life insurance if you are the beneficiary but it is always a good idea to have a will. It is important to establish who will represent his estate at his death and he can designate that his executor/executrix serve without posting a bond, which can save some money. It also takes care of the distribution of any assets that are left in his name alone.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 9/30/2013
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
The life insurance policy is not part of his estate, as long as he has designated a beneficiary of those assets. If your husband has other assets he may need a will. Contact an estate planning attorney to discuss your concerns.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/23/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Usually when you buy insurance you designate a beneficiary, so he would not need a will for that. However, he should have a will anyway.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/18/2013
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
Does your husband own anything that is titled in his name alone. Then it is necessary to write a will if he decides that you should not receive his property. Depending on the amount of life insurance, more than likely a good deal of the money from the life insurance will be used for his funeral.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 9/18/2013
    Law Office of Nathan Wagner
    Law Office of Nathan Wagner | Nathan J. Wagner
    The life insurance proceeds will be distributed outside of probate, and a will does not affect how they are distributed (unless your husband's estate is named as the beneficiary of the insurance policy). But, he may still need a will for his other assets and/or for other purposes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    No if you are named the beneficiary of the policy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    The life insurance should have a beneficiary named; the Will won't affect that. If he really has nothing else (no tools, sporting gear, art, collectibles) that should go to particular people, then no, he probably doesn't need a will. If you need a will, though, and you don't do one while you're alive, there's no fixing it when you're dead. A good lawyer might be able to show you reasons why it's not a bad idea to have one.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Life insurance proceeds are distributed in accordance with the "beneficiary designation form" provided by the insurance company. A will is useful to direct the person in charge to distribute certain specific items to specific persons. For instance, perhaps your husband wants his baseball collection to go directly to his son, versus it being distributed equally among'st all of his children. If you and/or he own real property (a house), you should consider a trust to avoid probate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    Does he own anything other than the life insurance? And, especially, does he have any separate property?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    A will would not affect life insurance proceeds unless he purposely made his estate his beneficiary. One makes a will in order to specify what you want to become of your assets but also to designate the person you want to represent the estate. It is not possible to say without more information, whether you making a will is going to make a difference. You make the will so there is no uncertainty.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Assuming he has no other assets of any kind and there is a named beneficiary on the policy, he may not have much of a need for a will. However, a will has other purposes that just passing on assets. A will names the person who will be responsible for gathering the assets, paying off all outstanding debts, paying any and all taxes due. and submitting any paperwork required by statutes. A will can also make provisions for minor children of the deceased. It's always a good idea to have at least a simple will as well as a living will and powers of attorney for health and financial matters.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Hard to say without more information. Is the life insurance the only asset your husband has? Does he have beneficiaries designated on the policy? Are there contingent or secondary beneficiaries named, as well? Even if a Will is not needed, additional estate planning may be necessary. You should each have durable power of attorney forms for health care and financial matters.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    Not for the life insurance. That is paid to the named beneficiary.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Doland & Fraade | Michael Doland
    Yes, for any other property that he may own. The exception would be that as a spouse you would inherit the community property even without a will. I would always suggest having a will and a durable power of attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Generally, the answer is yes. The reasons are that he probably has other assets and he may wish for you to be appointed as his Personal Representative. If the only assets and property he may have is the insurance, then he might not need a Will.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, whether one needs a will depends on one's goals. The answer is likely yes, but depends on what he is trying to accomplish. Life insurance policies and wills generally meet different, but sometimes similar, goals.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    If the life insurance policy pays the proceeds to a designated beneficiary, that beneficiary will receive the money directly, without the funds passing through his estate. Additionally, any property held by your husband and yourself as husband and wife or any property he owns as a a joint tenant with others goes to the surviving party directly. A will disposes only of property in a person's own name at the time of their passing. This property is included in a decedent's estate and distributed either to the persons named in the decedent's will or, in the absence thereof, to the decedent's nearest of kin according to the rules of intestate succession.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You have provided too little information and therefore I would not hazard an answer. It depends on the facts of the situation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    Life insurance is a contract. A Beneficiary Designation is a part of that contract. If a Beneficiary Designation is filled out and filed with the life insurance company, upon death, when the proceeds are going to be distributed, they will be distributed to the person(s) named on the Beneficiary Designation. Only if the Beneficiary Designation has the "estate" as the beneficiary or there is no Beneficiary Designation filed would there be a need for a Will to deal with the life insurance contract. A Will might be a good idea to deal with other assets that might be in the decedent's name. If there are assets in the "estate" and there is no Will, the laws of the state in dealing with "intestate estates" will control the distribution of those assets through a probate procedure.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C.
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C. | Arthur Geffen
    It would really depend on who the beneficiary is. It would be my suggestion that both you and your husband get wills drawn up by a lawyer. Your heirs will thank you for saving them lots of heartache and aggravation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    The life insurance policy has a listing of beneficiaries that the money should be sent to upon death, hence, a will is not needed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2013
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