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The problem with addressing life insurance in your will

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2022 | Wills |

If you are like many adults, your will is the primary document used to distribute your property in your estate plan unless you have a trust. Your will might discuss guardians for your children and what should happen to your property when you die.

Sometimes, people include the wrong things in their will and unintentionally complicate estate administration for their loved ones. Using your will to manage assets addressed elsewhere in your estate plan is one such mistake.

Your life insurance policy may play a major role in your estate plan. It may be how you intend to fund your funeral and pay off your debts so that your creditors won’t have a claim against your estate when you die. If you address your life insurance in your estate plan, you may inadvertently contribute to conflicts after you die.

Documents that disagree with one another lead to disputes

Your estate planning documents are how your loved ones and the courts know what to do with your property and accounts when you die. If they contradict one another, people may have a hard time understanding what you intended and what rights they actually have. Contradictions can easily occur with assets you don’t directly own, like life insurance policies.

When you first signed up for the life insurance policy, you may have established specific beneficiaries with the company underwriting the policy. You may have also addressed the beneficiaries of your life insurance in your will. If you later change your mind about who should receive the proceeds of your life insurance policy, it is crucial that you update every document at the same time.

If your beneficiary designations with the insurance company do not match what you include in your will, it will be the insurance company’s records that determine who received the insurance proceeds.

Reviewing all of your documents helps reduce mistakes

Your estate plan should change to better protect you and the people you love as your life and family change. When you frequently update your estate planning documents and ensure that they are not only accurate but in agreement with one another, you will reduce how much contention and stress will arise because of your estate.

Understanding how to create an effective and accurate estate plan will benefit you and the people you love.



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