Life Insurance a Guide to Designating Beneficiaries

Figuring out who to designate as beneficiaries on your life insurance policy can be a big decision.  If you are in a stable marriage, and/or have any children, the decision may be obvious, but this is not always the case.  Sometimes, you don’t have someone that you really feel you can trust with your life insurance policy.  This is where it becomes difficult.  There may even be times that your spouse may be incompetent to receive the life insurance policy and needs to be taken care of by someone you can trust. 

If you are in a stable marriage, your designated beneficiary is most likely to be your spouse.  He/she will be expected to use the life insurance money to take care of the needs of the family in case you cannot due to disability or death.  When there are children involved, you will have to make sure that they are taken care of, and may even want to designate one of your children as an alternate or partial beneficiary.  If you do this, make sure that you update your policy every few years to make sure that it will still be caring for your minor children.  In the case that they are all fully grown, you will most likely want to designate your children as alternate beneficiaries rather than partial beneficiaries.

If you do not have a spouse or children to designate as beneficiaries, it becomes more difficult to decide who should be your beneficiary.  You are not likely to buy a life insurance policy in this case, but many jobs provide life insurance policies for which you will still need to designate beneficiaries.  It will have to be someone that you trust.  You may choose to name someone that you are in a long term relationship with.  You may choose to name someone who is a good friend to you.  You may also choose to name a relative, including your mother or father if you feel that they can be trusted.  Make sure that it is someone who you can trust to carry out your wishes in the event of your death.

The most important thing that you have to remember when you are naming your beneficiaries is that it has to be someone you can trust to carry out your wishes in the event of your death or severe impairment.  This can be a difficult decision to make, and even more difficult to talk to someone about, but make sure that you do talk about it with whomever you choose to designate, as this will be the person who is left to take care of the things that are most important to you.