Life insurance makes life much easier for your loved ones, once they don’t have you anymore to depend on. However, if you don’t design your policy properly you could end up making it harder on your would-be beneficiaries. They may have trouble accessing the funds to pay bills, funeral costs, and for income replacement because of the money being locked in probate.These tips make it easy to keep your policy proceeds out of probate:
- Name a beneficiary: Naming a beneficiary who is to receive the death benefit funds when you pass is the easiest way to keep the proceeds from you death benefit from probate. In order to do this, you just need to write the person’s name and social security number in the designated spot on your coverage application. Once the policy’s been issued, you’ll be able to change the beneficiary by providing your insurer with written notification. If you want to divide your death benefit among several primary beneficiaries, list them all and include the amount of the benefit you want each to receive.
- Name a contingent beneficiary: Should your beneficiary pass before you and you don’t choose a secondary distribution such as per capita or per stirpes to allow the benefit to move down to secondary family lines, then you’ll need to name someone as a contingent beneficiary (or beneficiaries). That gives your insurance provider specific instructions to follow in the event your primary beneficiary is deceased. Just like with the primary beneficiary, you can change the designation after your policy’s been issued.
- Name a trust: You can also name a trust as your beneficiary. You can leave this person specific instructions to follow for payout and management. The trust you choose can be revocable or irrevocable. There’s no need to name a contingent beneficiary when you name a trust because the trust will be effective no matter when you pass away. There’s a chance you won’t be able to change the beneficiary once you name an irrevocable trust, so be sure to discuss this option with your agent before you decide on it.
It’s not difficult to ensure your death benefits go directly to the people you want, without delay. If you have questions about your policy or need a Kankakee life insurance quote, give us a call at 815-468-8763. We’re happy to help you find and design the right policy to pay benefits the way you want it to.