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Life Insurance

Take Care of Your Survivors: Review Your Beneficiary Designations Regularly

2022-03-30

You became an AAFMAA Member to secure your and your military family’s financial future — and AAFMAA makes that possible by including our unique Survivor Assistance Services with every AAFMAA Life Insurance policy. However, for us to properly care for your survivors, you must do your part.

Regularly Review Your Beneficiary Designations

If you haven’t reviewed your beneficiary designations in a while, it’s time to do so now — and to set a calendar reminder to review them every year. Ensure they haven’t changed due to a life circumstance, such as a marriage, death, or other changes in family status. Keep in mind that a divorce or annulment may revoke a beneficiary designation in some states. So, if you still want your former spouse to receive your death benefit (or need to as a result of the divorce decree), you should designate them as a “former spouse.”

Checking your beneficiary designations is simple. You can see them listed at the bottom of every life insurance policy annual statement. To access yours at any time, simply log into the AAFMAA Member Center and click on “My Documents.” You’ll find the Annual Statements for all policies you own under the “Insurance Documents” tab, with the most recent one at the top of the list.

Understand Primary and Contingent Beneficiaries

Your primary beneficiary will receive your death benefit first. If you have multiple primary beneficiaries, AAFMAA will pay the proceeds to them according to your designation. If any of your primary beneficiaries pre-decease you, their share is divided among the other primary beneficiaries, unless you opted for a per-stirpes designation. With a per-stirpes designation, the deceased beneficiary’s share passes down to his or her survivors. If there are no living primary beneficiaries when you die, then AAFMAA will pay the proceeds to the contingent beneficiaries as described above. If there are no contingent beneficiaries, then the proceeds will go to your estate.

Common Disasters

You may also opt for a common disaster clause in your AAFMAA policy, which requires the primary beneficiary to survive the insured by a specified period (up to 30 days) in order to receive the policy proceeds. Otherwise, we will pay the policy proceeds as though the primary beneficiary died before the insured. This way, if a beneficiary dies with the insured as a result of a common disaster, that beneficiary’s proceeds wouldn’t go to his or her estate, but rather would flow to the other primary beneficiaries or the contingent beneficiaries, as applicable.

Beneficiary Contact Information

In order for AAFMAA to assist your survivors, we must be able to contact them. If you have not yet provided AAFMAA with this information for your beneficiaries, please do so now. You can download our Beneficiary Designation Form from the Member Center, which includes a page for beneficiary contact information.

Survivor Assistance Services is the heart of AAFMAA. We have provided superlative personal service and care to military families and survivors for more than 140 years and we will care for your survivors the same way. It is our honor to serve you.