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4 Common Mistakes Made On Life Insurance Beneficiary Designations

Life insurance is a crucial component of estate planning, serving as a powerful expression of love and care for your family's future. However, the process of naming beneficiaries requires careful consideration to avoid potential pitfalls that could jeopardize your intentions. Here are four common mistakes to avoid when designating life insurance beneficiaries:

  1. Failure to Name a Beneficiary: It may seem straightforward, but many individuals overlook the critical step of naming a beneficiary or inadvertently designate their "estate" as the recipient. This oversight can lead to prolonged court proceedings and expose the proceeds to creditors. To safeguard your insurance benefits, ensure you designate at least one primary beneficiary and consider naming contingent beneficiaries for added protection.

  2. Neglecting to Update Beneficiaries: Failing to keep beneficiary designations current can have devastating consequences, particularly in cases of divorce or remarriage. Regularly review and update your beneficiary designations to reflect life changes and ensure your loved ones are properly provided for. Our team offers ongoing support to help you maintain an up-to-date estate plan that aligns with your wishes.

  3. Naming a Minor as Beneficiary: While technically permissible, naming a minor child as a beneficiary can create complications and delays in accessing insurance benefits. Instead, consider establishing a trust to receive the proceeds and appoint a trustee to manage the funds on behalf of the minor beneficiary. This approach provides greater control and protection over the distribution of assets.

  4. Designating an Individual with Special Needs: Directly naming a loved one with special needs as a beneficiary can inadvertently impact their eligibility for government benefits. To ensure their long-term well-being, establish a special needs trust to receive the insurance proceeds. This allows for careful management of funds while preserving eligibility for essential benefits and services.

Navigating the complexities of life insurance beneficiary designations requires thoughtful planning and expert guidance. Our team is here to provide comprehensive support and tailored solutions to protect your loved ones' financial security and well-being. Contact us today to discuss your estate planning goals and develop a strategy that meets your unique needs.

Eliminate Future Problems Now

While naming life insurance beneficiaries might seem simple, if you’re not careful, you can create major problems for the loved ones you’re doing your best to benefit. Meet with us today to ensure you’ve done everything properly.

We can also support you in planning tools like trusts—special needs or otherwise—to ensure your  insurance proceeds provide the maximum benefit for your beneficiaries without negatively affecting them. Schedule an Estate Planning Session to get started.

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