7. Not telling anyone or losing policy documents. Let your family know you have a life insurance policy and keep the policy documents in a safe place. If your family doesn’t know the policy exists, it may never be claimed.

8. Not having an alternate beneficiary. If you name only one beneficiary and that beneficiary dies at the same time, or before you, the proceeds of your insurance could end up in probate where a court decides who receives the proceeds. Name a second or third beneficiary to prevent this from happening.

9. Not considering community property and/or spousal rights. You don’t have to name your spouse as a beneficiary, but if you live in a community property state, your spouse will need to sign a waiver before you can name someone else as beneficiary. And, if you name a married adult child as the beneficiary of your policy (without a trust), you could be putting your child’s inheritance at risk inadvertently.

If you would like to learn more about protecting the inheritance you’ll leave behind, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.