Once you have your Revocable Living Trust in place, you'll need to update the beneficiaries of your life insurance policies. This can be accomplished as follows:
- Consult With Your Estate Planning Attorney on Who Should be Named as Your Primary and Contingent Beneficiaries – While there are some general rules that can be followed when naming beneficiaries of life insurance, only your estate planning attorney can properly advise you on who to name in your particular situation.
- Contact Your Life Insurance Companies to Obtain the Proper Forms – Before calling a company, check out its website because today many life insurance companies have change of beneficiary forms available online. Some companies will even allow you to update your beneficiaries online, while others will allow you to download the appropriate forms, fill them out, and then mail them in. If your company doesn’t have its forms online, call and request the proper change of beneficiary forms.
- Complete and Return All Required Forms and Documents – Once you've consulted with your estate planning attorney, fill out the forms and include all of the required information, or the forms will be rejected and returned to you for proper completion.
- When naming individuals as beneficiaries, information required will generally include their legal name, mailing address, date of birth, Social Security Number, and relationship to you.
- When naming a trust as a beneficiary, you’ll need to provide the names of the current Trustee(s), the complete name of the trust, and a mailing address for one of the current Trustees. Keep in mind that if you're one of the current Trustees, then you’ll be naming yourself. While this may seem strange (because you’ll be gone when the insurance proceeds will be paid out), this is the normal and proper procedure. An example of how to designate a trust as a beneficiary is as follows:
John Doe and Jane Doe, Trustees, and their successors in trust, under the John Doe Living Trust dated January 1, 2008, and any amendments thereto