Naming a Beneficiary


Give careful consideration to your choice of a beneficiary (beneficiaries). Keep beneficiaries in mind as important changes occur in your life such as the birth of a child, divorce, and death. You can have a primary beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary in case your primary beneficiary dies.

The wording you use to describe your beneficiary is important. For example, if you designate your beneficiary as “wife/husband of the insured” without a name, an ex-spouse could receive benefits. On the other hand if you designate by name you might exclude someone. For example, if you list your children by name and later have other children, those children born later would not become beneficiaries automatically.

Publications and Resources

What You Should Know About Life Insurance. An ACLI guide to help you choose the right life insurance products to meet your needs.

Tips on Buying Life Insurance (PDF). Choosing a life insurance product is an important decision. As with any major purchase, it is important to understand your family's needs and the options available. Use this list of buying tips to help you choose.

State Insurance Department Directory. The State Insurance Department Directory, with contact information for 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Includes names and phone numbers for key personnel and specific subject contacts.