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Updating Your Life Insurance Beneficiary Information

beneficiary B-1

1 minute read

Revised October 7, 2021

Updating your life insurance beneficiary is one of those tasks you always mean to do but always put off, like cleaning out your junk drawer or matching up your mate-less socks. Failure to clean out your junk drawer or matching up your mate-less socks could have consequences, but nothing dire.

The consequences are higher, however, if an employee doesn’t take the time to review/update their life insurance beneficiary. Without the right beneficiary, sad situations can occur. A second wife may not have the necessary funds to care for her children because the first wife was still listed on her husband’s beneficiary information. A husband learns his wife forgot to update her beneficiary after they got married and the benefit went to her sister instead.


Taking the time to review and update this information ensures that the employee’s wishes are fulfilled and that legal complications are avoided. Here are three easy ways to remind your employees to review: 

  • During your open enrollment period, make sure to include this information sheet and beneficiary form in their packet of materials.
  • Send out a quick reminder email annually (about six months after your annual open enrollment date) with this information sheet and your insurance carrier’s beneficiary form.
  • When an employee contacts you about a benefit change, it’s usually prompted by a life event (birth, adoption, marriage, death in the family, and divorce/annulment). This is a good time to have the employee update their beneficiary information if necessary. Have the information sheet and beneficiary form on hand for them.

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National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Erin Woulfe

Erin Woulfe

Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization, or providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”