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Advice for choosing a life insurance beneficiary

As you go through the process of buying life insurance, you will eventually be faced with this question: Who will you name as the beneficiary?

Some people have no problem answering this question, but others are faced with a variety of challenges. These people don't know who to name as the beneficiary, who to avoid at all costs, and what should go into this decision.

Here is some basic advice that allows you to make the right decision at the right time:

-- Know your options. Generally speaking, you can name anybody you want as your life insurance beneficiary. While most choose a family member, such as a spouse, this is not your only option. For example, you may want to select a charity as your beneficiary.

-- Choose a secondary beneficiary. When you choose a beneficiary, you believe this person will live longer than you. But what happens if they don't? This is why you need a contingent beneficiary.

-- Match your life insurance policy to your will. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is leaving your life insurance benefit to one person in your will but somebody else on the actual policy. The life insurance contract is official, so this is who the death benefit will go to upon your passing.

This advice should help you choose the right life insurance beneficiary.

You have many options, so don't hesitate to take a step back and think about what you are doing. You can always change your beneficiary in the future, but you may never get around to doing so. This is why you need to make the right choice the first time.

Source: NetQuote, "8 Tips for Choosing a Life Insurance Beneficiary," accessed April 18, 2016

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