When we’re going through this whole thing of applying for and eventually putting in force a life insurance policy, often there is a very valuable talk with the beneficiary of that insurance that gets overlooked.
You can really start with the basics and believe me it is scary how often this is overlooked. Let the beneficiary know that you took out the life insurance. Think about it. If you don’t tell them the only way they’ll find out is if they are lucky enough to stumble across the policy after you’re no longer around.
Which leads to another great idea. Tell them where. No, show them where the policy is going to be kept and if you decide to change its’ location, include them in that information also. Don’t put it in a safety deposit box. Those are really cool safe places, but not necessarily easy to get access to upon your death.
Give them a business card from the agent who helped you put the policy in place. A good agent can and will take a load off the beneficiary by helping with claim filing and answering questions. Trust me. Your beneficiary will be grateful to have someone handle the details of the claim process for them.
If you have a plan in mind for how your beneficiary can best use the tax free proceeds, share your thoughts with them. If the money is to be left to minor children, there needs to be a trust set up so that a competent trustee can watch out for their best interests. This isn’t a bad idea for young adult children as well. A 22 year old with $100,000 and no restraints is a $100,000 party looking to happen. Help them use it prudently by having the proceeds administered by a trustee.
Bottom line. You’ve done a good thing by making sure that life insurance is in place for your loved ones. Finish the job by making sure they know what to do if you pass away unexpectedly.