I’m single and need a life insurance beneficiary

When you apply for life insurance, you will need to name a beneficiary – the person who will receive the death benefit payout upon your death. Your life insurance will help your survivors move on financially. It is completely up to you who will be the beneficiary of your insurance policy.

However, if you’re single, choosing the right recipient can be challenging and take a little more time to figure out. On the plus side, you have a lot of freedom to choose the beneficiary who you think will be most capable of settling your final expenses.

Here are a few things to consider:

    1. Select a beneficiary based on the likelihood of a permanent relationship with you. Many people may select a girlfriend or boyfriend in lieu of a spouse. While at the time this may seem like an excellent decision based on your undying love for one another, be aware that all relationships are subject to change. The same can be said for very close friendships. If you are unmarried, consider choosing a close family member like a parent, sibling, or child.
    2. Consider your potential beneficiary’s needs. An easy way to select a beneficiary is to also take into consideration your potential inheritor’s needs. For example, perhaps you are very close to a sibling, but this sibling may be beyond financially secure. On the other hand, perhaps a cousin has been struggling to make ends meet for years and years. The benefit would be much greater if this person benefits from your life insurance policy.
    3. Age and health are important factors. If they are substantially older than you, such as a parent, and if their health is failing it may make more sense to select a beneficiary who is more likely to be alive once you pass on.
    4. Consider individuals who will tend to debt and funeral expenses after your death. The most important factor to consider is to think about who has helped you financially throughout your life, and who will help you upon your death. Who will be most likely to take care of your funeral and other arrangements once you pass on? Who has consistently been there for you, financially and otherwise?
    5. Remember that you can typically include more than one beneficiary, and you can change your mind at any time. If you can’t decide on a single beneficiary, most life insurance companies accept two or more beneficiaries. Plus, you can change your beneficiary at any time. Not all life insurance policies are created equally, so be sure to read the details when selecting a policy.

You might consider offering your policy to the following individuals:

Your Children – If you have children, then they may be the best options to name as beneficiaries. You can even structure your policy so that each child receives a certain percentage of the funds. If the children are still minors, you may wish for the funds to pay into a trust that is overseen by a named trustee, which can help to care for the children’s needs until they reach a certain age.

Other Dependents – Are you a caregiver for an elderly parent or grandparent? Do you have a disabled adult child? These individuals might benefit from being named your life insurance beneficiary. However, you might still need to put this money into a trust because this individual might not be able to make financial decisions for themselves.

Parent or Siblings – Most single people with no kids will name their parents or siblings as primary beneficiaries. Someone who will be responsible for paying off your debts or your funeral expenses.

A Charity or Organization – You can leave the funds from a life insurance policy to a charity or organization. The money can be donated to a charity at the time of your death, in your memory. If you have a nonprofit you feel passionate about, you can name it as a primary or contingent beneficiary to receive all or a percentage of your assets or life insurance payout. Doing so can be an impactful way to leave a legacy.

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