Life insurance policyholders should consider who their beneficiaries are

Oct 06, 2011

Spouses are the most common beneficiary on a life insurance policy.

Although having a will sorted out is important for considering who will get post-death is important, an article by Scott Webb, owner of Webb Financial Group LLC, on the Zanesville Times-Recorder said it is equally important considering who the beneficiaries are on life insurance policies, retirement plans and IRAs.

For life insurance policies, the spouse is the most logical choice to be a beneficiary in most cases. Trustees of the policy would be in charge of managing and dispersing the money to the spouse or recipient, according to the news source. The story said to also name contingent or secondary beneficiaries to be safe.

"This means if the primary beneficiary has died, the insurance proceeds will go to an individual or trust," Webb said. "If there are no surviving beneficiaries, then the money goes to the estate of the insured and goes through probate. This is distributed according to the will, and if there is no will, it usually follows state law."

Sun Life Financial's website said to review if the beneficiary designation of a policy is up to date, the policyolder needs to complete or change the "beneficiary designation" section of the enrollment form. The website said to make sure to read all instructions before signing, dating and returning the form to the company. The new designation will replace all prior forms.

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