My estranged spouse was listed as a rider on my life insurance policy since 1987, we have been separated since 2009 and I have paid all premiums on the policy. My sons are the beneficiaries on the policy. The policy was for $54,000 and my estranged spouse's total assets when he died (not counting the policy) were less than $10,000.

Does the $54,000 need to be counted as part of his assets since I was the one that paid for the policy??

  • 4
    Please edit your question to include the jurisdiction (state, if you're in the US). Normally, if there's a beneficiary on a policy, it's excluded from the estate.
    – mkennedy
    Jul 9, 2018 at 19:02
  • 2
    If you're in the US, you might also include why you're asking about estate tax for an estate so far below an amount that would have federal estate tax.
    – Joe
    Jul 9, 2018 at 20:36
  • @Joe Possibly because some states (like Ohio) have streamlined probate processes if an estate's assets are below a certain amount.
    – mkennedy
    Jul 10, 2018 at 0:04
  • @mkennedy Yeah, likely, but that’s why I want to know the specific :)
    – Joe
    Jul 10, 2018 at 0:37
  • I am in Pennsylvania and the lawyer has stated all info(assets) needs to be included in the paperwork that gets filled out even though he does not have enough assets to even have to probate the will. There will not be estate tax, but I wasn't sure if this info had to be disclosed to the lawyer that is taken care of everything else.
    – Linda
    Jul 10, 2018 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


No. The key here is that you were the owner of the policy. It was not part of his estate, regardless of the estate size or his other insurance, beneficiaries, etc.

This assumes you are in the US. Please update tag with "US", when you return.

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