What about life insurance and retirement benefits?

If you have a will, certain property or benefits may be distributed to your spouse or others directly, even though it is not mentioned in the will. Life insurance can be distributed through your will if it is payable to your estate.

Typically, retirement benefits, joint tenancy property, and property in a revocable trust are distributed directly to the beneficiaries named in the policy, plan, or trust. If you own specific property as a joint tenant with others, that property will be distributed directly to the other joint tenants who are still living after your death, without regard to how you have distributed your estate in a will.