How do I change the beneficiary on my life insurance policy?

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Asked December 15, 2011

2 Answers


If you are the owner of your life insurance policy, you have the option of adding, dropping or changing beneficiaries at your discretion. This could include changing the beneficiary to a single person, adding a charity or other organization as a beneficiary, or adding a new person and adjusting how the proceeds of the policy will be paid out. In most cases, changing the beneficiary is as easy as contacting your insurance company. When you do, you will be presented with a change of beneficiary form that you fill out and return to the insurance company.

It is important to note that life insurance policies have two types of beneficiaries, revocable and irrevocable. If your existing life insurance policy has irrevocable beneficiaries, you cannot change them, but revocable beneficiaries can be changed at will. If you are not sure which type of beneficiaries your policy has, read the policy carefully or contact your insurance company for more information.

A common mistake is to assume that you can simply name a new beneficiary in your will. As long as the existing beneficiaries agree, this is possible, but if anyone contests the will, the list of beneficiaries named in the policy will supersede any changes you have made in your will. This is why it is important to file a change of beneficiary form with your insurance company, because this is the only way to make the changes you want legally binding.

Do not name a single beneficiary. It is possible that the primary beneficiary could die before you do, and unless your policy has been updated, the money you had intended to leave to someone would be considered part of your estate instead, and subject to the laws of your state in regards to estate settlements. A better idea is to name both primary and secondary beneficiaries, in which case the absence of the primary beneficiary would automatically roll the settlement over to the secondary person or entity you have named.

Answered April 3, 2012 by Anonymous


Changing the beneficiary on a life insurance policy is not a complicated process under most circumstances. The one exception to this rule of simplicity is when the life insurance policy was written with an irrevocable beneficiary, but even then it is possible to change the beneficiaries, as you will see. In most cases, you can change the beneficiary by simply contacting your insurance company using the toll-free number included on the premiums invoice. Your signature will be required, but as long as the policy is up to date and written in your name, changing the beneficiary is a simple matter of completing a form.

If you set the pol,icy up to have an irrevocable beneficiary, then you cannot change the beneficiary without having the written consent of the person who was originally named in the policy. The process is still relatively simple, but the insurance company requires your signature as well as that personÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¾ÃÆ'‚¢s. Contact your insurance agent or the customer service department of the insurance company, explain to them what your situation is, and they will tell you the fastest, easiest way to get the changes made.,

If the beneficiary was not set up to be irrevocable, you can change the named person or persons by contacting your insurance agent or the customer service department and requesting a change of beneficiary form. Once the form is filled out and submitted to the insurance company, the change will go into effect.

Every life insurance policy must have at least one primary beneficiary, but it can have multiple primaries. If more than one person is named as the primary beneficiary, then all parties will share the pay out of the policy equally, or receive shares of the po9licy as you have defined in the policy. Whether or not to detail how the money is to be divided up is your choice, giving you the option of specifying multiple primary beneficiaries but allotting a higher portion of the money to one person over the others.

Answered December 15, 2011 by Anonymous

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