One important component of protecting your family is thinking about how to use life insurance beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are those people who are entitled to receive your assets if and when something happens to you. The primary purpose of purchasing a life insurance policy is to protect your loved ones and give them funds they can use immediately when you pass away.
You might name both a primary and a contingent beneficiary to do this but the decision about who to appoint in this role is not always an easy one. Think about why you have life insurance in the first place, which people rely on you financially and would have difficulty paying ongoing bills if you passed away. What family members or other individuals would need financial support that would cover costs associated with your death, such as final burial and funeral expenses.
If you would like to leave money to a beneficiary of your choice, you might also divide up this death benefit accordingly. Set aside a time to meet with your estate planning lawyer to discuss how your life insurance policy works in connection with or needs to be considered as part of your overall planning strategy.
A lawyer can help answer many of your most common questions and help you decide who to name as beneficiaries. Life insurance is just part of your estate planning strategy, and it can work entirely separate from or as a complement to your will. When you work with an attorney who has an annual or regular estate planning strategy review, you will be able to discuss updating beneficiaries and making other changes at that time.