Question: Who Should I Make My Beneficiary?

Your life insurance beneficiary is the designated recipient of your death benefit should you die while your policy is active.

As we mentioned above, you can name a spouse, child, friend, organization, charity or trust as your policy’s beneficiary — you can also name multiple beneficiaries.

Who can be a beneficiary for life insurance?

The beneficiary of your life insurance policy is the individual who will receive the benefit in the event of your death. You’re not limited to just one person. A policy can have more than one beneficiary. A policy’s primary beneficiary is the first person who will receive the benefits of that policy when you die.

Who should be your primary beneficiary?

Your primary beneficiary is first in line to receive your death benefit. If the primary beneficiary dies before you, a secondary or contingent beneficiary is the next in line. Some people also designate a final beneficiary in the event the primary and secondary beneficiaries die before they do.

Who is usually a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is the person or institution that you choose to receive the death benefit of your life insurance policy, retirement accounts, or pension. When choosing a beneficiary, it is important to consider who would suffer the most financially from your death, such as your children or a spouse.

Can anyone be your beneficiary?

Generally you can name anyone with whom you have a relationship as beneficiary, even a secret lover. However, in community-property states, your spouse typically would have to sign a form waiving rights to the money if you designate anyone else as beneficiary.

Can my boyfriend be my beneficiary?

It makes no sense to choose a beneficiary not currently relying on your income, unless that person’s function is to manage or otherwise distribute the policy proceeds according to your wishes. If your boyfriend does not meet this criteria, do not list him as your beneficiary.

Who inherits when there is no will?

Who can inherit if there is no will – the rules of intestacy. When a person dies without leaving a valid will, their property (the estate) must be shared out according to certain rules. These are called the rules of intestacy. A person who dies without leaving a will is called an intestate person.

What information is a beneficiary of a will entitled to?

All beneficiaries named in a will are entitled to receive a copy of it so they can understand what they’ll be receiving from the estate and when they’ll be receiving it. If any beneficiary is a minor, his natural or legal guardian should be given a copy of the will on his behalf.

What information do you need to make someone your beneficiary?

Most beneficiary designations will require you to provide a person’s full legal name and their relationship to the insured person (spouse, child, mother, etc.). Some beneficiary designations also include information like mailing address, email, phone number, date of birth and Social Security number.

Can a parent be a beneficiary?

You can name anyone as a beneficiary, not just a spouse: Parents, children, siblings, a special-needs niece, close friends, your unmarried partner or anyone else. Usually, you can’t name a minor child as a beneficiary. Instead, you name a custodian to manage the money for the child until he comes of age.

Is a spouse automatically a beneficiary?

Under ERISA, if the owner of a retirement account is married when he or she dies, his or her spouse is automatically entitled to receive 50 percent of the money, regardless of what the beneficiary designation says. A spouse can forgo his or her right to 50 percent of the account by properly executing a Spousal Waiver.

What is the difference between beneficiary and survivor?

A single life annuity, that expires when the beneficiary dies. A joint and survivor option that continues making the exact same payment until both beneficiaries die. An option where one payment is made until the primary beneficiary dies, and is reduced to 50% of the original amount thereafter.

Who gets life insurance if beneficiary dies?

What happens when the beneficiary of a life insurance policy dies ahead of the one insured? When the one insured in a life insurance policy dies the proceeds go to the named beneficiary. If the beneficiary dies ahead of the insured, the proceeds will still be paid out.

Can a friend be a beneficiary?

A beneficiary can be a person, charity, business or trust. If the beneficiary is a person, they can be a relative, child, spouse, friend or anyone else you happen to know. As some agents like to say, you can even name your “secret lover” as a life insurance beneficiary.

What happens if you don’t designate a beneficiary?

If you do not designate any beneficiaries or all your primary and contingent beneficiaries predecease you, your surviving spouse generally becomes your beneficiary. If you do not have a surviving spouse, payment of your account is made to your estate.

Is Social Security number needed for beneficiary?

When naming a beneficiary, the life insurance company will ask for some information about the beneficiary. Part of that information may include the beneficiary’s Social Security number. While the beneficiary does not need to have a Social Security number, there may be some benefit to giving it to the insurer anyway.

Can I add my girlfriend as a beneficiary?

Much to your surprise, you find out that someone else is the beneficiary on your spouse’s life insurance policy. Besides naming a spouse as beneficiary, a policyholder could choose another family member, such as an adult child, a business partner, or even a boyfriend or girlfriend outside the marriage.

Can a child collect a deceased parents pension?

Within a family, a child can receive up to half of the parent’s full retirement or disability benefit. If a child receives survivors benefits, they can get up to 75 percent of the deceased parent’s basic Social Security benefit. There is a limit, however, to the amount of money that we can pay to a family.

Can I put my boyfriend on my life insurance?

Yes, you can buy life insurance on your boyfriend or girlfriend as long as you have their consent and insurable interest. We’ve talked about insurable interest before in other Q&As but as a reminder insurable interest exists when one person financially benefits from another being alive.