Nancy F. Slater (Retired)

Can you mention your life insurance in your will?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | Estate Planning |

You want to use your will to divide all of your assets, if possible, and you know that this document is where you can split up the physical assets you own, your family heirlooms and the cash you have in various accounts. You simply have to state which assets you want to go to which specific beneficiaries.

One of your biggest assets is a life insurance policy. Can you put that in your will with everything else?

Your life insurance is separate  

Generally, the answer is no. Your life insurance policy is separate from the rest of your estate plan. The beneficiary designation you already made when you bought that policy will be followed, not what you wrote in your will.

What options do you have to change this? The easiest thing to do is simply to update your beneficiary designations. If you want to add an heir into the plan, you can update that paperwork when you’re working on your overall estate plan.

Another option could be to make a trust the beneficiary of the life insurance policy. The payout funds the trust, and then the trust dictates how the money gets passed on to your heirs. If you do this, then you only have to update the trust when you want to make any changes, and you do not need to update the life insurance policy ever again.

Knowing what steps to take

You can see that estate planning is more complex than many people assume. Take the time to look into your options and understand what steps to take.