Why would I designate a policy owner for my life insurance policy?

16 Dec by Administrator

Why would I designate a policy owner for my life insurance policy?

With a typical life insurance policy you have two options regarding the ownership.

You can have yourself as both the insured person and the policy owner. This means when the time comes to claim the proceeds will be paid to, and distributed, as per your will / estate. This is ideal if you have specific requirements as to what you want to happen to the money. The money can be distributed in accordance with your will but be aware this could mean a delay in settlement while probate is obtained and other matters handled.

It is becoming more common that a different person is nominated as the policy owner. This means that person effectively owns the insurance, is responsible for payments, and they are also the person to whom the claim proceeds are paid to. This circumvents the will as the money bypasses it and is paid directly to the policy owner. Typically a policy owner will be a spouse, that is by far the most common, so they get the funds quicker and easier.

However, where you have a pollcy owner you also need to be aware that there can be complications in the event of separation as the owner would have to agree in writing to assigning the ownership to another person. We have had a number of instances where a policy owner is in fall out with the insured person and this cannot happen easily, effectively then the life insured loses their insurance. Also, if you had wanted your money to be used to help others, say your children, this cannot happen unless the policy owner carries out such instructions on your behalf as they are the only ones with any rights to the money.