Do You Really Have to Name a Life Insurance Beneficiary?

When you pass away, there are many different assets that may be part of your estate and outside of your probated estate. These assets may pass on to your loved ones in accordance with your will or other documents such as a life insurance beneficiary form. It is critical to make sure that you have set up the right beneficiary with your life insurance policy.

Many policies will allow you to name a primary as well as a contingent beneficiary in the event that something happens to the first beneficiary. If you do not designate a beneficiary with your life insurance policy, this could create problems in processing your estate. You may wish to name more than one primary beneficiary depending on your state’s individual laws.

If you do not name a beneficiary, your estate will be named as the life insurance beneficiary. This means the proceeds of the policy could enter the life insurance process or could pass to the heirs at law under Michigan intestate succession who are eligible to inherit if there was a will or a beneficiary designation.

If the life insurance policies go directly to the heirs at law, then they may be saved from creditors. However, your life insurance proceeds could alternatively be used to settle any outstanding debts and financial obligations unless a beneficiary has been named. Some people choose to specifically name their life insurance policy as payable to their estate for this reason. In selecting the right beneficiary for your life insurance policy, it is valuable to work with a qualified estate planning lawyer in Plymouth, MI to help.

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