Life insurance beneficiary forms - common mistakes

Filling out the beneficiary form for your life insurance can be more tricky than you think. There are several common mistakes, including:

  • Naming a minor child without designating how the money should be distributed. Money cannot be given directly to a minor child. It needs to be placed in a trust account or special account for minors such as an UTMA or UGMA account.
  • Forgetting to update the beneficiary form. An insurance policy is a contract, and the money will generally be distributed how your beneficiary form says it should be done. If you have your wife as your beneficiary, and get divorced but forget to change the beneficiary designation, usually the proceeds will go to your ex-wife.
  • Only naming one beneficiary. If you only name one beneficiary, and that person predeceases you, there will be no beneficiary. Make sure to name at least one secondary beneficiary.


The problems caused by a mistake on a beneficiary form will not impact you, but will greatly impact those you love.

Check out more tips in this article.

We advise both insureds and beneficiaries who have questions or problems with life insurance. Contact our office if you would like more information.  

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