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Q:

Can a will override a life insurance policy regarding beneficiaries?

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The life insurance policy is a separate contract between the policy holder, your late father-in-law, and the insurance company. They pay the monies to the beneficiary stated on the policy regardless of what the will states. The policy is not part of the estate. You have to follow them both. The only time the life insurance monies would be divided amongst those named in the will is if the policy stated that the payment be directed to the policy holder's estate. (This is not that common.) I know of a few people that had life insurance policies pay out to someone other than who was named in the will. In some cases it was because of the policy holder's wishes... and in other cases it was because the policy holder did not update the life insurance beneficiary information when there was an event in their life that changed their relations. One specific case... a former girlfriend was paid a life insurance policy because a woman's husband neglected to update the policy when he got married to ... more
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