Choosing Life Insurance Beneficiaries

Life insurance policies require that you name a beneficiary. Many people do not give the process much thought, simply naming a spouse and/or children and then putting the whole thing out of mind.

But choosing your beneficiary and keeping that choice up to date is important. Here are some of the things to consider:

One of the advantages of life insurance is that proceeds payable to a named beneficiary pass outside of probate. Naming your "estate" as beneficiary subjects the money to the probate process, which can be both lengthy and costly. Life insurance proceeds are paid immediately to named beneficiaries.

The wording of beneficiary designations is very important. An improperly named beneficiary can have drastic effects on how the insurance proceeds are distributed.

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