Ownership changes - FAQs
How do I name or change the owner of my policy? Only the owner of an insurance policy or the owner's legally designated representative may change ownership. If the owner of the policy is a trust, signatures and titles of the trustee(s) are required. If the owner of the policy is a corporation, only one company officer’s signature and title is required (President, Vice President, Secretary, Sole Proprietor, etc.). Complete an Ownership Change Request Form, obtain all required signatures, and send it to Americo. We recommend you keep a copy for your records.
How do I change the ownership of a policy when the current owner is deceased?
To transfer ownership of a life insurance policy from the estate of a deceased owner, we require:
A certified copy of the death certificate,
A certified copy of Letters of Administration appointing the Personal Representative of the deceased owner, and
A copy of the document closing the estate if the estate has been closed.
The Personal Representative may designate the owner of the policy by completing the appropriate Ownership Change Request Form and forwarding it to us along with the first two items above. Please note, we cannot process a transfer of ownership without these requested items.
If the deceased owner did not leave a will, or the will is not probated, we recommend you contact your attorney or the Clerk of the Probate Court (in the county where the owner resided) for information on the procedure to file an affidavit for collection of personal property without probate, or other similar form pursuant to local law.
Who may be named as owner?
The owner may be one or more persons, a trust, a trustee, a corporation, or any other entity from which a legal signature (or signatures) can be obtained; however, please be aware that designation of multiple owners is discouraged. If multiple owners are designated, the signature of every owner must be included on any future policy change requests.
What is the difference between a primary owner and a contingent owner?
The primary owner is the party or parties who maintain control of the policy while the insured is living. The primary owner of the policy is the only person who can make changes to the policy.
The contingent owner assumes control of the policy if the primary owner dies before the insured. The contingent owner only assumes control if (all of) the designated primary owners have died before the Insured.
How can I name joint owners?
To name joint owners, designate whether the owners are to share as Joint Tenants With Rights of Survivorship or as Tenants in Common Without the Right of Survivorship. “With Rights of Survivorship” means if one owner dies, his or her interest will pass to the surviving owner(s). “Without Rights of Survivorship” means if the owner dies, his or her interest will pass to his or her estate.
How do I name a trust as my owner?
Please provide the name, date the trust was created, trustee’s name, and location of the trust on the appropriate Ownership Change Request Form. Trust documents will be required.
What is required if I live in a community property state?
If you reside in Guam or one of the community property states listed below, your spouse’s signature is required to change ownership for a policy. If you are divorced, a copy of the divorce decree showing all rights were given up by your spouse is required. If your spouse is deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate is required. Your change of ownership request cannot be processed without this documentation.
Community Property States: Arizona, California, Guam, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
For additional information or questions, please contact us at 800.231.0801.