On Tuesday March 20, 2018, the last male northern white rhino died. This left two females as the only living members of the subspecies in existence. Thankfully, this may not mean extinction for the animal as scientists indicate In Vitro Fertilization may allow the rhinos to reproduce; it is not a guarantee.
How we are remembered and the lives of those we leave behind can be greatly impacted by life insurance. One of the things you do when you get a life insurance policy is to pick a beneficiary; most of the time it is a spouse or child.
The first beneficiaries named are the primary beneficiaries. The primary beneficiary or beneficiaries are who will receive the proceeds from the life insurance policy when the named insured dies. If they die prior to the death of the named insured, they or their estate get nothing. That makes it important to name contingent beneficiaries. Contingent beneficiaries are only paid if primary beneficiaries are not alive when the named insured dies.
In situations with multiple beneficiaries you will want to split the proceeds with percentages. In situations with variable, universal, or indexed universal life policies the probability exists that the life policy with an initial face value will end up with a face value that is difficult to split evenly. For example, a $500,000 life insurance policy could be worth $508,250 at the time the named insured dies. Dividing that amount into percentages is the best way to accomplish your goals after your death when there is more than one beneficiary.
If you want to think outside of the box, consider this: you have a philanthropic itch that needs to be scratched, like the preservation of the northern white rhino.
Let’s assume that you have done well and have accumulated $1,500,000 in life insurance to date. You arrange for it all to go to your surviving spouse. You could direct a portion of the monies left to her to go into an irrevocable trust that will be left to her estate on her passing and interest on the principle goes to the preservation of the white rhino. Again, the lawyer and accountant will assist you in arranging this.
What happens if you are in an accident and your wife (primary beneficiary) dies before you do? To arrange for this scenario, you could set a contingent beneficiary, let’s say – the university you graduated from, with directions to set up a trust to develop and operate a scholarship for veterinary students in your name. You can also arrange for the remaining percentage to go to the charity of your choice, helping in the preservation of the white rhino. If you arrange this by percentage, you can make it easier to direct what percent the charity gets and what percent the school gets. This will establish a legacy helping both the northern white rhino and the university you graduated from.
There are many ways to use the proceeds of life insurance to benefit your family and the things you care about most of all. Life insurance can be complicated, so please seek out a professional insurance agent to help get the process started in the right direction.
Call my office today, 971.303.8508, and we can discuss life insurance and see what the right choice is for you.
You can also visit our website at www.lucascole.com