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What is a primary recipient and who should you name?



Time for some puns. The word beneficiary has its roots in the Latin benefactum, which means good deed. And it's a great way to think about naming someone, or someone, or something, as a beneficiary of your term life insurance. Simply put, a life insurance policyholder is the person who will receive a police payment (called the death benefit) should you die with coverage on the spot. It can be one person, several people, a trust or even an organization – or any combination depending on your needs.

But what distinguishes a primary beneficiary from all others (as a conditional beneficiary)? And how do you still choose the primary beneficiary? These are important questions ̵

1; without a doubt the most important questions you will encounter when buying a life insurance policy. After all, why do you get politics in the first place? To help you financially protect those you love if you do not do it yourself. (This is the good deed we talked about earlier.)

With all this in mind, here's what you should keep in mind, and what you need to know, when choosing who to list as your main beneficiary on your life insurance policy. [19659004] In this article:

What is a beneficiary?

Again, a life insurance policyholder is a person who will receive the payment from an insurance policy should you die. The income from the payment, known as a death benefit, can be used to pay for your recipient's financial needs, both those that accompany death (funeral arrangements, funeral expenses) and those we have in daily life (mortgage, child care). Since you may not want to put all your financial eggs in one person's basket, you can name two (or more) people as beneficiaries, and indicate what proportion of the payment the insurance company would receive.


The word beneficiary has its roots in the Latin benefactor, which means good deed. And it's a good way to think about naming someone as a primary recipient.

What is a primary recipient anyway?

A primary beneficiary is a designated person selected by the policyholder who would receive the revenue from the policy. if he or she were to die. When choosing a primary recipient, you can name a person or persons or even a revocable trust (or living trust) or other legal entity. The most important thing is that the primary beneficiary is the "first in line" to receive the death benefit.

For some, appointing two primary beneficiaries – say a spouse or partner and a parent – may make sense, especially if both could face financial hardship. For others, a primary life insurance beneficiary, with a conditional beneficiary named, is the most meaningful. The latter is what we usually see at Haven Life, where most customers name their partner as the sole principal recipient.

Remember that your primary beneficiary must be legally authorized to accept the proceeds. This raises the question of whether it is possible to name minors as the main recipient. The short answer is yes, as long as certain measures have been taken – specifically, to name a guardian who will monitor your trust to ensure that your estate is operated in accordance with your wishes.

Who you choose, you want to make sure you notify your recipient (or recipients) that you have designated them. This will ensure that they know your wishes and can act accordingly if something happens to you. Also keep in mind that with most life insurances, you can change your beneficiary name at any time.

The main beneficiary is the "first in line" to receive the death benefit.

What is a conditional recipient, and why would I need one?

A conditional beneficiary is who would receive the death benefit if something happened to the primary beneficiary. After all, life is full of unexpected results. Choosing a conditional beneficiary is a careful way to protect yourself and your loved ones from a number of "what-if" scenarios, such as the fact that your primary beneficiary is not alive when an application is made. It is common for policyholders to name their spouse or partner as the main beneficiary and then their children or their children's guardians, for example. That way, if something happened to both parents, the proceeds would go to the children or their guardians to manage.

You also know how we always say we want to make life insurance less difficult here in Haven Life? Listing a conditional recipient will make life less difficult for that person. Basically, if something happens to you and your primary beneficiary, your death benefit would be paid to your estate if you had not appointed a conditional beneficiary. It can then be subject to distribution through the probate court which can cause delays in the payment of money – a complicated situation for your loved one during an already stressful time. (Note: If you have already created a living trust and plan to name it as the primary life insurance beneficiary, this may not be a problem.)

And FYI: You may have more than one primary beneficiary and more than one conditional beneficiary; you simply need to state what percentage of your life insurance you want to allocate to each of your primary beneficiaries. For example, Haven Life allows up to 10 main beneficiaries and 10 conditional beneficiaries. And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes.

Additional "case" scenarios where a conditional beneficiary would be needed:

  • Primary beneficiary can not be found
  • Primary beneficiary refuses to accept the income
  • Primary beneficiary has preceded the policyholder
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How do I decide who to name my primary beneficiary?

For most people, they buy a life insurance policy because they have someone in their mind that they want to protect financially – so often it is an easy choice who is to be named as the recipient. At Haven Life, we often see individuals naming their significant other as the primary recipient, but your situation may be different. Alternative choices can be older relatives whom you financially support, friends who are like family or even charities that have affected your life.

What happens if I need to change my primary recipient name?

It is important to review your recipient designations from time to time. This is especially true if you have a major life event such as marriage or divorce. If your living conditions dictate a change in the recipient's designation, do not be afraid. It is easy to change your recipient designation if necessary. At Haven Life, this can be easily handled in your online account center.

Can I have more than one main receiver?

You may have more than one primary beneficiary; you simply need to state what percentage of your life insurance you want to allocate to each of your primary beneficiaries. For example, Haven Life allows up to 10 main beneficiaries and 10 conditional beneficiaries. No matter how many primary beneficiaries you have, the total percentage allocated must be 100%. How you divide that 100% is up to you, the policyholder.

What happens if my primary beneficiary cannot be found?

If your primary beneficiary cannot be found when the time comes to receive a payment, the payment will go to your conditional beneficiary, if you have one. A conditional beneficiary enters as the primary beneficiary if the primary beneficiary can no longer receive the benefit. All in all, this is why it is important not only to name a primary recipient and contingent recipient, but also to review and update the recipient and his or her contact information on a regular basis.

Protecting Your Primary Beneficiary With Life Insurance

At The End Today's life insurance helps us leave a financial legacy to our loved ones after we are gone. Choosing, naming and reporting a beneficiary correctly is the best way to ensure that your loved ones will receive the death benefit in a time-sensitive manner, at a time when they will need that peace of mind the most.

<img src = "https://blog.havenlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/author_bio_pic_fish-150×150.png" width = "62" height = "62" alt = "Avatar [19659038] About Louis Wilson

Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, both online and in print, often writing about travel, sports, popular culture, men's fashion and grooming, etc. He lives in Austin, Texas , where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children.

Read more by Louis Wilson

Our Editorial Policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and general well-being can be refreshingly easy.

Our Editorial Policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and general well-being can be refreshingly easy.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not support the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they suit your situation.

Haven Life does not have the right to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide and should not rely on tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own taxes or legal attorneys.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a term life insurance policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in some states, including NC) issued by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and is offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a simplified life insurance policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Companies, Enfield, CT 06082. Police and rider form numbers and functions may vary depending on permit and may not be available in all states. Our California agency license number is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best company as A ++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is from Aril 1, 2020 and may change. MassMutual has received various ratings from other credit rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name of the Plus Rider, which is part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits free of charge or at a discount. The rider is not available in all conditions and can be changed at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual is responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made available under Plus Rider, provided by third party providers (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.html Tue 1919909051. Read our information

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