How to Assign a Beneficiary to Your Policy

Personal Finance School Life Insurance How to Assign a Beneficiary to Your Policy

Assigning a beneficiary to your life insurance policy is a crucial step to ensure that the death benefit goes to the intended recipient(s) upon your passing. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company:
    • Reach out to your life insurance company or agent. You can typically find contact information on your policy documents or the company’s website.
  2. Request a Beneficiary Change Form:
    • Ask the insurance company for the appropriate beneficiary change form. This form may be available in paper or electronic format.
  3. Complete the Beneficiary Change Form:
    • Fill out the beneficiary change form with the requested information. You’ll typically need to provide the full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number (or other identification), and contact information for each beneficiary you want to designate.
  4. Specify Beneficiary Shares:
    • If you want to allocate the death benefit among multiple beneficiaries, indicate the percentage or dollar amount each beneficiary should receive. Ensure that the total adds up to 100% or the policy’s death benefit amount.
  5. Provide Documentation (if required):
    • Some insurance companies may require you to provide additional documentation, such as proof of identification or notarized signatures. Follow the insurer’s instructions closely to avoid delays in processing your request.
  6. Review and Sign the Form:
    • Carefully review the completed form for accuracy, including beneficiary information and distribution percentages. Sign and date the form as required.
  7. Submit the Form:
    • Return the completed form to the insurance company using the provided instructions. You may need to send it via mail or email, or you may be able to submit it online through the insurer’s website.
  8. Confirmation and Acknowledgment:
    • After the insurance company receives your beneficiary change form, they will typically send you an acknowledgment or confirmation of the change. Keep this document for your records.
  9. Periodic Review:
    • Life circumstances can change over time, so it’s advisable to periodically review and update your beneficiary designations, especially after major life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a beneficiary.
  10. Keep Beneficiaries Informed:
    • It’s a good practice to inform your designated beneficiaries about their status and the details of your life insurance policy. This can help avoid confusion and ensure that they are aware of the policy’s existence and benefits.

Remember that the beneficiary designation on your life insurance policy takes precedence over your will. If there is a discrepancy between the two, the insurance policy’s beneficiary designation will prevail. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep your beneficiary information up to date to reflect your current wishes accurately.