Beneficiary Changes - FAQs
How do I name or make a change to the existing beneficiary?
Only the owner of an insurance policy or his or her legally designated representative may name or change the beneficiary. If an irrevocable beneficiary is named on the policy, we must also have his or her signature on the change form. If the owner of the policy is a trust, signatures and titles of the trustees are required. If the owner of the policy is a corporation or business, only one company officer’s signature and title is required (President, Vice President, Secretary, Sole Proprietor, etc.). Complete the appropriate Beneficiary Change Request Form, obtain all required signatures, and send it to Americo. We recommend you keep a copy for your records.
Who may be named a beneficiary?
The beneficiary may be one or more persons, an estate, a trust, a trustee, a corporation, a charitable organization, or any other entity from which the insuring company is able to obtain a legal receipt for the proceeds.
What is the difference between a primary beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary?
The primary beneficiary is the party or parties who receive the proceeds of a policy when the insured dies. The owner of the policy may indicate how the proceeds will be divided among the parties. If no indication is made, then the proceeds will be divided equally among the primary beneficiaries.
The contingent beneficiary receives the proceeds if the primary beneficiary should die or cease to exist in the case of a trust, corporation, or other organization. The contingent beneficiary will receive proceeds from the policy only if all designated primary beneficiaries have died or cease to exist before the Insured dies, and the insured has not named a new primary beneficiary.
If no primary or contingent beneficiary is designated, the proceeds are paid according to the policy or contract.
What do I need to do if I would like to name a trust as the beneficiary?
Please provide the name of the trust, date the trust was created, trustee’s name, and location of the trust on the appropriate Beneficiary Change Request Form.
Can I name my child as a beneficiary?
If the policyowner would like his or her children to receive their life insurance proceeds, the children themselves should be named; however, because benefits are generally not payable to minors, we recommend that a trust or custodianship be established. To name a trust or custodian as beneficiary for minor children, you need to provide us with the name of the trust, date the trust was created, trustee’s name, and location of the trust, or documentation confirming the appointment of a custodian, as appropriate.
How do I name beneficiaries for unequal distribution?
To name beneficiaries in unequal shares use percentages adding up to 100% (70% to Mary A. Smith, wife, and 30% to John Smith, son). Use percentages that equal 100. We will not accept designations for specific dollar amounts.
For additional information or questions, please contact us at 800.231.0801.