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Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies

Common Life Insurance Beneficiary Questions

Date Posted: April 26, 2021

1.) What is my beneficiary designation? 

A beneficiary designation is the process of selecting the person(s) or organization to receive the benefits from your policy when you die. This selection is not permanent and may be changed unless you identify the beneficiary as irrevocable.  

2.) What is a primary beneficiary?

A primary beneficiary is the person(s) or organization you select to receive the benefits payable from your policy when you die. There may be more than one primary beneficiary, and the benefits payable may be divided in whichever proportion you decide.

3.) What is a contingent beneficiary?

A contingent beneficiary is the person or organization you select to receive the benefits payable from your policy if your primary beneficiary dies before you.

4.) Should I name my children as my beneficiaries?

How should I name my children as beneficiaries?
Name your children as a group - “children of the insured,” rather than naming each child. That way if you have more children after you designate your beneficiary, the new children will be included as beneficiaries.

Talk to your agent about the best way to provide funds to your children. Factors like the age of your children affect the disbursement of your policy benefit and other steps may have to be taken to assure payment to your children.   

5.) How often do I need to review my beneficiary designation?

Review your beneficiary designation at least once a year. The changes that take place in your life should be reflected in your policy. Updates to your beneficiary are needed in cases of deaths, marriages or other life events that affect who your benefit will be given to.

6.) What do I need to do to change my beneficiary?

To change your beneficiary selection, contact your Farm Bureau Insurance agent. They will provide you with applicable forms. You cannot change your beneficiary with a phone call or an e-mail.

7.) Let’s say that I name my spouse as my beneficiary and we divorce, but I still want him or her to receive the benefit. Do I need to change my beneficiary?

Yes, you must change that it is specifically your ex-husband or ex-wife otherwise in Michigan he or she will no longer get those benefits.

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