Question: My wife died a few months ago, how do I change my beneficiary? – Dave A. in Matthews, NC
Answer: Changing a beneficiary is a very easy process. The majority of the time you can go on to your insurance company’s website and download a change of beneficiary form. Complete the form, indicate the new beneficiary and submit it to the company along with a certified copy of the death certificate. This process should be used for any life insurance, 401K or annuity. In the event that it is not part of the forms the company provides on line call the company or your agent and they can provide it for you. Your agent can also deliver one to you and provide the necessary assistance in getting it completed correctly.
The same process should be followed if a divorce occurs. Several years ago, I heard a story where a husband died who had been married to his second wife for over 20 years. During that time he never changed his beneficiary from his first wife to his second one on a life insurance policy and 401K. The first wife received over $300,000 upon his death. Keep in mind life insurance and annuity contracts are legal agreements and insurance companies are bound to what is stated on the contract/policy.
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