Life Insurance & Living Trusts


You can name the following as beneficiary of your life insurance policy: Your spouse, your trust, or your kids (or non-kids). Naming your spouse will bypass both probate and your trust. Naming your trust will allow the monies to be allocated and distributed per the terms of your trust. Naming your kids (or non-kids) as the beneficiary will avoid both probate and the trust. If you have minors, then it may not be a good idea to bypass the trust. If you have spendthrift provisions in your trust for the benefit of your children based on certain ages, etc., then it’s probably not a good idea to bypass your trust. If you have a blended family, then it may or may not be a good idea to bypass your trust.

If a person is named as beneficiary, then typically that person will simply need to present the life insurance company with a copy of the death certificate and their own driver's license. If a trust is named as beneficiary, then typically the trustee will simply need to present the life insurance company with a copy of the death certificate, their own driver's license, and any required paperwork. After the trust receives the proceeds, then the trustee could distribute the proceeds per the terms of the trust.

Additional thoughts in conjunction with the above: Life Insurances assets may or may not need to be placed in Trust because the proceeds transfer contractually to the named beneficiary and, therefore, already avoid probate. However, if you wish the proceeds to be distributed in the same manner as the other trust assets (which is usually the case), then the Trust should be the beneficiary of the life insurance. You must instruct each insurance company or your insurance agent to designate your Trust as the beneficiary. Sometime a certain client will want some assets to be distributed pursuant to the trust terms, and other assets in an entirely different manner.

Discuss with your attorney, financial advisor, and/or CPA.


Mike Massey Law can help you with your Last Will & Testament, Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Living Will, HIPPA Release, Transfer on Death Deed, Cremation/Burial Wishes, Pre-Need Guardianship, Guardianship preference for Minor Children. Local Texas Attorney/Lawyer may be able to help you with estate planning. Call 512-757-9065 or Email: mike@atxwills.com


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