Executors typically are in charge of gathering and disseminating life insurance proceeds as well as those from IRA accounts, retirement plans, and annuities. Since these arrangements (contracts) are not controlled by the Will, such benefits are disseminated under beneficiary designations. Accordingly, the applications for proceeds associated with them should be addressed directly by the beneficiaries. The estate’s executor often assists in this process. Contemporaneously with receipt of the distributions, recipients may need to make other critical decisions (i.e., elections) like whether to get a lump sum or a fixed payment over time.
These distributions are usually subject to federal estate taxes. Indeed, some may even be subject to estate or inheritance taxes under state laws. So, be happy about getting the bequest but tread lightly!