Life insurance policies should be updated as one’s needs in life change. An annual review of life insurance policies will help ensure that policyholders have the right coverage for their needs.
Purchasing a life insurance policy is not something one should do quickly without considering all of the options. Those who are interested in purchasing policies need to take time and review their needs as well as the needs of their family members. Oftentimes, many people prefer not to think about life insurance at all, as it forces them to consider an unpleasant subject. They only do so when they have had a recent brush with death. Waiting to buy life insurance until a critical moment can be costly for families, and individuals should consider buying a life insurance policy as soon as possible. Doing so will help secure their families continued survival and prosperity.
Life insurance policies should not be static documents; instead, these documents should change as the needs of one’s life changes. As such, life insurance policies should be reviewed at least once a year, so that they will accurately reflect the policyholder’s needs. In order to properly assess their needs, individuals should consider the following questions when reviewing their policies:
Should life insurance be purchased to pay for funeral expenses or should funeral expenses be paid from accumulated cash? Funeral expenses can often run in the thousands and not all families may be able to pay these sums out-of-pocket. A life insurance policy could help families cover these expenses and alleviate the financial burdens associated with one’s passing.
Should a policy be taken out to cover estate taxes? Although the estate tax has been repealed for 2010, this is likely to change in 2011 if Congress takes no further action. As such, the estate tax in 2011 could be costly for some families, and they may require a life insurance policy to help cover their estate taxes.
Should insurance be purchased to leave a lump sum for family members? If so, how much should be left? While some beneficiaries may be able to handle large sums of money, others may find doing so difficult and may need to have the life insurance distributed as income. If the policyholder chooses to provide income, should this income be for the beneficiary’s lifetime or should it be for a set number of years?
Having insufficient life insurance can have devastating effects on a family. Asking these questions when reviewing one’s life insurance policy or when purchasing a new one will help individuals decide what kind and how much coverage is right for them.
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