1. 37376 POINTS
    David G. Pipes, CLU®, RICP®PRO
    Business Development Officer, T.D. McNeil Insurance Services, Fresno, California
    One of the features of a life insurance policy is that it names a beneficiary.  The beneficiary receives the proceeds of the policy outside the estate.  The proceeds become their property upon the death of the insured.  The process of probate is designed to insure equitable handling of the property.  A life insurance policy is a contract that operates outside of probate.
    Answered on May 20, 2014
  2. 4249 POINTS
    Gary LanePRO
    President, Lane Independent Agency, Southern California
    No! Absolutely not. That is one of the major advantages of life insurance. It goes directly to your designated beneficiary and does not pass through probate in any state in America. It is a contract between you and the insurance company to  pay your beneficiary directly. It also is not taxable to anyone in virtually every case. For this reason, life insurance is one of the best safety program you can have. Thank you. GARY LANE.
    Answered on May 20, 2014
  3. 21750 POINTS
    Jim WinklerPRO
    CEO/Owner, Winkler Financial Group, Houston, Texas
    That is an excellent question! It is a very common question also, and I am always glad to say that in almost every case, life insurance skips past probate. Since you name a beneficiary, there is no contesting where the funds go. It really is one of the best reasons to have a life insurance policy. Thanks for asking!
    Answered on May 21, 2014
  4. 63333 POINTS
    Peggy MacePRO
    Most of the U.S.
    Life insurance does not have to be probated unless the beneficiaries named on the policy have all passed away, or if the beneficiary is the estate. When there is no beneficiary, the money goes into the estate where it will go through probate. To avoid that, be sure to keep your beneficiaries on your policy up to date.
    Answered on May 21, 2014
  5. 7479 POINTS
    Steve KobrinPRO
    President, The Firm of Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF, 6-05 Saddle River Rd #103, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
    No, as long as the beneficiaries designated are alive and well.

    And as long as they are of legal age.

    However, if minors are named as beneficiaries, things get messy. An insurance company is not going to pay out money to someone underage.

    This is where life insurance planning ties into estate planning. It is important to name an executor and custodian in your will. Work out all the arrangements for your kids in advance so that responsible people get them the money they need when they need it.
    Answered on June 1, 2015
  6. 246 POINTS
    Ronald Mesler
    We Protect Doctors, LLC, Boise, ID
    Great question! One of great things about life insurance (as well as annuity contracts and IRA accounts) is the disposition is generally controlled by the beneficiary designation. Courts are very reluctant to interfere with a valid beneficiary designation. When do we see problems? When the account is not periodically reviewed and the beneficiary designation--for example a parent is named and they have passed away but no new beneficiary has been named. Of course life insurance proceeds will generally become part of the probated estate when the estate is named as the beneficiary. Easy fix? Be sure to name primary and contingent beneficiaries and review them periodically!
    Hope that helps...
    Answered on February 23, 2016
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