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Life Insurance

The devil in the details: Consequences of out-of-date beneficiaries

2016-01-25

You should routinely review your beneficiary forms and update them as necessary. Through divorce, or any other changes in your family status, you must reflect these changes in your official life insurance forms. Without your diligence to this detail, a life insurance company could easily pay the proceeds of your policy to the wrong person. One careless oversight could mean a nightmare for your family, when you are no longer present to make things right. So take the time NOW to ensure accuracy. Pay mind to the devil in the details!

With thousands of Members, the beneficiary form is the only reference AAFMAA has for identifying who receives your death benefit. In many states, it is our legal duty to pay the person on these forms – even if you haven’t reviewed them since signing up for your policy.

Your Annual Statement makes this process easy. It lists your current designations for both your primary and contingent beneficiaries for each policy in Section 4, along with the date that you last updated it. You will note that that the statement includes both primary and contingent beneficiaries.

Marriage, birth, divorce, or death – these are all life-changing events. Reference your beneficiary designation and be sure that it is accurate through these major life shifts. Routine review reduces the risk of benefits going to the wrong person, and staying consistently accurate will also prevent delays in payout. Every year, AAFMAA sees cases where beneficiary forms still state a former spouse’s name. Depending on the state, this previous spouse will inevitably receive your death benefit. You can easily prevent this from happening by reviewing your beneficiary designations in Section 4 of your Annual Statement today.

Finally, please provide AAFMAA your beneficiary’s contact information, Social Security Number, and date of birth so we can contact them and validate their identity.

Year-round, download the Beneficiary Designation Form from the AAFMAA Member Center. Fax, scan or mail the completed form to AAFMAA. We will always send an acknowledgement of receipt for your personal records.

Contact AAFMAA Policy Services staff for assistance at Beneficiary@aafmaa.com or call toll free 1(800) 336‑4538.