Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company
 
FAQ´s

Just for Policyholders

 



How do I name or change a 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. Once your request is complete, you will receive an official confirmation/endorsement of the change for you 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 the designated primary beneficiaries have died before the insured 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 contract.

What do I need to do if I would like to name a Trust as my beneficiary?
Please provide the name, 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 wishes his or her children to receive the 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 (70% to Mary A. Smith, wife, and 30% to John Smith, son), use percentages that equal 100%. We do not accept designations for specific dollar amounts. All Percentages must equal 100%.


How do I name or change ownership on a policy?
Only the owner of an insurance policy or his 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. Once your request is complete, you will receive an official confirmation/endorsement of the change for you records. (Ownership changes on non-qualified accounts can have tax ramifications.)

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:
1. a certified copy of the death certificate,
2. a certified copy of Letters of Administration appointing the Personal Representative of the deceased owner, and
3. 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 the transfer without the 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 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 .

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.


How do I change the name on a policy?
We will only honor a request from the owner of the policy or his legally designated representative to change the name of an insured, beneficiary, or owner on a policy. A name change is necessary when the name of the owner, beneficiary, or insured has been legally changed. This may result from marriage, divorce, adoption, etc. If the owner of the policy is a trust, only one trustee's signature and title is 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 a Name Change Request Form , obtain all required signatures, and send it to Americo. We recommend you keep a copy for your records.

What information is needed to complete the name change?
To make a name change on a policy, you will need to submit the following to our office:

  1. A specific request for a name change, in writing, using the Name Change Request Form.
  2. Signature of the owner (not the agent), and
  3. All legal documentation showing the change, such as a copy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption decree, or a court order.
We also recommend that you complete a W-9 with your new signature. This will assist us in expediting any futrue policy change request.


How do I change the address on a policy?
The owner of the policy or an active writing agent for Americo may change the address on a policy by completing an Address Change Request Form , obtaining all required signatures, and sending it to Americo. We recommend you keep a copy for your records. Americo is able to service your secondary address for those policyholders with seasonal or otherwise temporary alternative mailing address needs. Simply submit a written request stating the address to which you would like your information mailed, including dates of necessary, along with your signature.



If you would like to obtain a copy of your policy, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800.231.0801 or customer.service@americo.com to request a copy by mail.

 

 

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Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company is authorized to conduct the business of insurance in the District of Columbia and all states except AK, NY, and VT.