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No, the executor has authority over the insurance proceeds. Certain assets pass outside probate and thus are not governed by the will and thus not under the control of the estate administration of the executor. These include the following: i) joint brokerage and bank accounts which vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; ii) real property held as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety, which also vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; and iii) assets with designated beneficiaries other than the estate such as life insurance and retirement accounts. The insurance policy proceeds fall within this and are payable directly to your mom.
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