Can I Designate Whomever I Want to be a Beneficiary on my Life Insurance Policy?

The rules for designating beneficiaries on a life insurance policy depend upon the situation and where you live. It is important that you speak with your insurance agent to better understand the laws in your area before you try to make any changes in your life insurance policy.

Generally, your spouse (if you are married) is considered to be the obvious beneficiary. If you want to name someone other than your spouse as the beneficiary of the policy, explain this to your insurance agent to get direction on how to do this most effectively.

Many people want to name their child or children as the recipient of their policy proceeds, but this can be complicated depending upon the ages of the children. If your children are minors, you will need to arrange for a trustee to manage the policy proceeds for your children until they are legally adults and can handle the money on their own.

If your policy is connected to a pension plan or is purchased through your job, you may be required to name your spouse as the recipient of the policy upon your death. This requirement can sometimes be waived, however. For example, if you want to name your nephew as the recipient of the policy you could potentially have your spouse sign papers stating that they are aware of this, and you could then make your nephew the recipient legally.

In most cases, you may be able to name the person or persons of your choice as the recipient of your policy upon your death. However, it all depends upon the individual situation and it is imperative that you work together with your agent to make the best decision for you and your beneficiaries.