When we talk about life, we unconsciously think of the end of our lives, too. What happens when we are not here? Who carries the legacy? Who gets the money?
Life insurance provides vital financial security for loved ones in case of an individual’s passing. One of the crucial decisions in setting up a life insurance plan is selecting a beneficiary, the person who will receive the assured amount when the insured person passes away.
Unlike today, life insurance plans traditionally used to have a single designated beneficiary. Modern insurance policies often allow for multiple beneficiaries.
Today, we will discuss the concept of beneficiaries in life insurance, focusing on whether you can have multiple beneficiaries and how this arrangement works.
What is Life Insurance
Life insurance is a written, signed, and sealed document between a policyholder and a policy provider wherein the insurance company agrees to pay a specified sum of money to the nominee upon the policyholder’s death. The insured pays regular premiums to maintain the policy, ensuring that the death benefit will be available to their beneficiaries.
What is a Beneficiary?
A beneficiary is someone designated to receive the proceeds from a life insurance policy when the insured individual passes away. The choice of beneficiary is a critical decision and should be made carefully, considering the financial needs and circumstances of the chosen beneficiaries.
Types of Beneficiaries
- Primary Beneficiary
This is the basic or primary recipient of the death benefit. In the unfortunate event of the policyholder’s death, the insurance company will first distribute the death benefit to the primary beneficiary.
- Contingent Beneficiary
Just in case the primary beneficiary is not present to receive the death benefit (e.g., due to death or inability to accept), the contingent beneficiary steps in to receive the funds. The contingent beneficiary acts as a backup in case the primary beneficiary is unavailable.
Can You Have Multiple Beneficiaries?
Yes, you can have multiple beneficiaries for your life insurance policy. This can be in the form of either:
- Equal Distribution:
You can divide the death benefit equally among multiple primary or contingent beneficiaries by mentioning that in your contract. For example, your nominees are your husband and 2 children, and the death benefit will be divided equally among them.
- Percentage Allocation:
In this method, you can specify the percentage of death benefit you want to allocate to those specific nominees. For instance, you might designate 50% to your partner and 25% each to your two kids.
- Primary and Contingent Beneficiaries:
You can also have both primary and contingent beneficiaries. In this scenario, the contingent beneficiaries only receive the benefit if the primary beneficiaries are unable to.
Life insurance has become one of the most important and deciding factors of your and your family’s financial plans and decisions. Selecting the right life insurance and the right beneficiary is a critical decision, and modern insurance policies allow for the flexibility of designating multiple beneficiaries.
Whether you choose to divide the benefit equally, allocate percentages, or have both primary and contingent beneficiaries, ensuring your life insurance policy reflects your wishes is essential. It’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor to understand the implications and make informed decisions about the beneficiaries of your life insurance policy.