Could someone name a beneficiary to a life insurance policy in their will?
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Asked August 2, 2010
Certainly, it is more appropriate to name the beneficiary in the policy, but naming them in your will is also possible.
To give you a better illustration of why you might want to do such a thing, consider parents of minor children. One parent takes out the life insurance policy, and the other parent is named as the beneficiary. To be safe, though, the policyholder adds a few lines to their will which stipulates who the guardian of the children will be if both parents are deceased, and transfers the life insurance policy to that person in whole or part. This way, the children will be able to benefit from the insurance policy even though they are not yet old enough to be specifically named as beneficiaries. In this particular example, the wording used in the will should be based on the amount of trust placed in the named guardian. You don't want your children's future squandered away, but you do want to make the money available for their benefit, since that was the purpose of the policy to begin with.
Naming a beneficiary in your will can be done with less planning than changing a life insurance policy. In a situation where the will names a different beneficiary than the insurance policy, the most recently notarized document will usually take precedence over the older one. Keep in mind, however, that having two named beneficiaries can lead to troublesome disputes over the distribution of the money, and should be avoided if possible. It is better to name the beneficiary in the insurance policy itself, but it is acceptable to name them in your will.
Answered August 2, 2010 by Anonymous