Is it a good idea to name the insured’s estate as a beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy?

No. When the policyowner names their estate as beneficiary, it opens the doors for creditors to make a claim on the proceeds.   All estates go through a legal process called probate.  The courts appoints an administrator or executor for the estate after an attorney files the paperwork.  The executor is responsible for gathering assets and paying off any creditors or expenses related to the estate including a fee based on the size of the estate.  Probate is expensive and takes  9 months or longer.  When there is a named beneficiary, the insurance proceeds do not go through probate.   Life insurance benefits are not subject to creditor’ claims as long as it is being paid to a named beneficiary. It is quick and easy.  Primary beneficiary needs only a certificated copy of the death certificate and a signed claim form assuming the beneficiary is age 18 or older and is competent. If the primary beneficiary is not living, the contingent(2nd) beneficiary can file the claim with certificated copies of the insured and primary beneficiary’s death certificates with the claim form.