How Many Beneficiaries Should I Name on My Life Insurance Policy?

To ensure that all proceeds are distributed fairly and according to the insured wishes, life insurance policies by and large have at least two beneficiaries. One is the primary beneficiary who receives the money in the event that the insured passes away. There is also a contingent beneficiary. This individual receives all money and proceeds of the insured only if the primary beneficiary has already died.

There are however a variety ways to designate other beneficiaries to receive money at the time of an insured’s death. Beneficiaries of a life insurance policy do not need to be limited to two. In fact the primary (or first) beneficiary could actually be more than one individual. The same is true of a contingent beneficiary. The primary beneficiary, for example, could include many siblings in the family. The Contingent beneficiary could be several cousins, uncles, nieces, nephews, and even grand children. Proceeds of the insured can also be divided into percentages as well. The insured could for example assign his son Paul to 20% of his proceeds, his other son Clarence to 20%, his daughter Belkis to 20%, and his wife Gladys 40% of his money. It’s totally up to the discretion of the insured how to divide his proceedings. All percentages must total 100%.

Another beneficiary you designate is your physical estate. Keep in mind, however, that estate beneficiaries incur high taxes that must be paid to the state.