Removing A Spouse From The Beneficiary List

Learn why you cannot fully rest on the fact that you are currently the beneficiary of a life insurance

Posted over 2 years ago, 0 replies

The primary reason why individuals purchase life insurance is so they can continue to provide for the basic needs of their loved ones even after their passing. There are also cases wherein an estate or a charity is indicated as the beneficiary of a life insurance, but for most people, they name their spouse, children, or someone very close to them as the beneficiary. The big question now is, can the husband or wife remove his or her spouse from the beneficiary list without the latter’s knowledge?

What Does It Mean To Be A Life Beneficiary?

Being a life insurance beneficiary means that in the event of the policy holder’s death, the benefits indicated in that particular policy will go to you. There are 3 levels of beneficiaries in a life insurance, namely the primary, secondary, and final beneficiary. It is also possible for the policy owner to name several beneficiaries such as a spouse, child, business partner and other close relatives provided that they all have insurable interest. A person is considered to have an insurable interest in someone when the former is dependent on the latter’s income to sustain day to day needs.

Life Insurance Beneficiaries Can Be Revocable Or Irrevocable

There are beneficiaries that are revocable, and there are also those that are irrevocable. Revocable beneficiaries can be removed from the beneficiary list at any time that the policy holder wishes to do so. Irrevocable beneficiaries on the other hand cannot be changed without the beneficiary’s approval. If a spouse is thinking of getting his wife or her husband off from the beneficiary list in a revocable life insurance policy, the policy owner just has to sign some forms and indicate the names of the new beneficiaries. Policy owners must also realize that beneficiaries cannot be added or removed by simply basing on who are indicated on a last will and testament.

Requiring Consent To Change Beneficiaries

In a lot of cases, individuals list their spouse as their primary beneficiary. In the event of the policy owner’s death, all benefits will immediately be passed on to the spouse. Normally, there are no tax deductions on proceeds from life insurance policies except for the richest families in the US. There are also several states that require policy holders to get the consent of their spouse if they wish to get the latter off from the beneficiary list or if they want to add more beneficiaries.

In general, policy holders can list anyone as their beneficiary, be it one’s child, spouse, or any other close relative. If you are a wife or a husband who has already been listed as a beneficiary to your spouse’s life insurance, it is still possible for you to be delisted. In some cases, you need to be notified, but in certain states, you can be taken off as a beneficiary without your knowledge at all.

Flickr Photo Credit: suanie
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