Life Insurance Beneficiaries: How Does Life Insurance Work?

Today I go back to talking about important issues regarding life insurance and I do it by addressing the issue of life policy beneficiaries. I am obviously referring to the subjects who, in the temporary life insurance policies, are the recipients of the emoluments (or capital) that the insurance company will have to make available.

Let’s see together what there is to know about it, also taking into accounts very important issues such as the possible succession of the deceased or even the beneficiary.

Who is the beneficiary in the life and death policy?

The beneficiary is the person designated by the contractor to receive, in the event of death during the contract, the capital due. To be clear, the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) is the person who, in the event that the insured dies during the insurance period, will receive the money agreed with the company.

It is useless even to recall perhaps that the beneficiary is the fulcrum of life insurance policies as much as the insured: it is precisely to create a legacy for those who will survive us that we enter into this type of contract.

Who can be the recipient of the capital? Who can become a beneficiary?

In reality, everyone can be a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, as the law does not provide for ties of kinship or marriage between the insured and whoever will eventually become the beneficiary.

It is therefore possible to allocate any capital also to subjects who by law do not have any type of recognized advantage status (think of de facto couples, even if things are obviously changing in this sense too) or to a friend with whom he shared a lot during his life.

It is worth remembering in this circumstance that you can also choose legal persons as beneficiaries, such as charities, non-profit associations, etc.

Even if this is a very rare possibility, even for-profit companies can be beneficiaries of life policies: let’s think of the typical case in which you want to guarantee certain economic security to your small company. In that case, you can also choose an entity of this type as a beneficiary.

The last case is that of the choice of the bank as beneficiary: this is the typical case of when you have an open mortgage and you want to pay it off (even partially) in the event of your death.

When should the beneficiary be chosen?

The beneficiary of the insurance contract must be indicated at the conclusion of the contract, even if it can be changed later without any kind of problem (after all, our life can change quickly – divorces, children who no longer need it, etc.).

The choice is therefore not final and you can also choose not to indicate the beneficiary during the stimulation phase, and then rely on your will to identify it.

The beneficiary does not necessarily have to be informed: the company must be able to identify them.

What happens if a beneficiary is not indicated: the case of succession?

The last case that we must analyze together is that of legitimate succession, or in the case in which a beneficiary has not been indicated before the death of the insured person.

The amount is considered part of the deceased’s assets and is therefore assigned following the laws in force regarding legitimate heirs, on the basis of the inheritance axis, with the amount that must therefore be divided equally among all heirs of this type.

The fact remains that the beneficiary, even by testamentary means, can dispose of this sum as he prefers. In the absence of this express preference, the civil code will intervene.

Who should choose?

This is obviously a very personal matter and it depends on who you want to protect with your policy. Most people end up, for obvious reasons, by choosing very close relatives, even if lately other types of solutions are also growing, such as the legacy towards NGO associations.

Those who have the possibility and find themselves needing to cover more than one beneficiary can also consider taking out more than one policy.

Additional helpful resources

If you are evaluating this solution, you may also be interested in informing you about other types of policies that can protect some unfortunate and unexpected events that can happen in everyday life, more or less serious.