In most cases, it’s easy to change the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. The policy owner can visit their insurance company’s website to obtain the needed form. The form should then be filled out completely with the appropriate signatures, usually including a signature from a witness that is not a beneficiary of the policy.
There are a few circumstances where changing the beneficiary is more involved than simply filling out a form. If the original beneficiary was designated as irrevocable, then a new beneficiary cannot be named without permission from the original beneficiary. Further, a policy holder that lives in a community property state cannot change the beneficiary of a life insurance policy to someone other than their spouse without the spouse’s permission. Finally, a minor child cannot legally receive the proceeds of a life insurance policy and should not be named as a beneficiary. Beneficiary changes in these situations may require assistance from a trusted attorney.