You are likely aware of life insurance and are more than likely to have a policy through your employer. However, it is important to understand how to care for loved ones after you are gone. There are many different kinds of life insurance.
One thing all life insurance policies share is the death benefit. When someone says they have a $100,000 policy, it really means they have $100,000 worth of death benefit insurance.
The insurance experts at Hurley Insurance Group are here to talk about how to prepare for loved ones after you are gone.
WHAT IS A DEATH BENEFIT?
If you are not familiar with what a death benefit is, it is best to understand its definition. It is the money that gets paid to your beneficiaries if you die while your life insurance policy is in effect. There are a few things you need to know about beneficiaries:
- A beneficiary needs to be specifically identified or designated in the life insurance policy.
- There can be more than one beneficiary.
- A beneficiary doesn’t have to be a person – it can also be a charity, business or family trust.
HEIR V. BENFICIARY
Sometimes people mix up the meaning of heir and beneficiary. An heir is assumed, but a beneficiary is specifically designated. This means that if a person dies without a will, his or her heirs are the people who may be legally entitled to inherit the deceased’s estate. One or more heirs are usually named as beneficiaries on a life insurance policy, but they don’t have to be. In fact, there are many reasons for naming someone other than your next of kin as a beneficiary.
- Leaving money to care for other family members, such as parents or siblings.
- Leaving money to grandchildren.
There are no stipulations or conditions on benefit payouts. Beneficiaries can take the lump sum and use it for living expenses if needed, but can also use it for any purpose they want.
If you’re one of a few beneficiaries, it does not automatically mean you’ll get an equal portion of the death benefits. The policyholder can allocate different percentages to different beneficiaries.
In general, life insurance death benefits are exempt from income tax. It is one of the most important life insurance tax benefits. However, you should consult with your tax advisor if you receive a death benefit payment to ensure you file everything properly.
PAPERWORK FOR LOVED ONES
To best prepare for your loved ones it is best to have all of your important documentation in one place. It helps them know the company of which you have a life insurance policy and whom they need to contact after you pass.
If you have an elderly parent or close relative, you should try to find out if they have named you as a life insurance beneficiary when discussing their final wishes. If you already know about such a policy, you should confirm that it is still in force, and find out where the documents are kept so they can be accessed when the time comes.
When a life insurance company learns of an insured client's death, they will use the information they have to try to locate all beneficiaries. A company may not be looking for beneficiaries because they haven't been provided with a death certificate and don’t know the insured has died.
AN INSURANCE COMPANY YOU CAN TRUST
At Hurley Insurance group, our mission is to get to know and understand your needs, wants, and long-term goals. We want to help you develop, implement, and monitor a strategy that’s designed to address your unique situation.
We understand the challenges families face today. The world can be an unpredictable place. Our commitment is to utilize all our resources to help you pursue your goals and help you keep those who matter most, safe.
We believe in thinking “out of the box,” and we are not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom in our approach to insurance and protection. All our energy, commitment, and efforts are focused on you, the client, and your satisfaction.
If you have more questions about life insurance, or other types of insurance, our team at Hurley Insurance Group would be happy to assist you. Stop by our office or give us a call today to talk to a licensed agent. If you prefer to do business online,click here to get a quote today!