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Updating Your Insurance Beneficiary Can Bring Peace of Mind

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We can answer a question that you may have:

Why have life insurance?

Life insurance should give you and your loved ones peace of mind that they will have funds available if anything happens to you.

But we can’t answer this one:

If you have life insurance, have you reviewed your beneficiary designation form lately? 

That one is up to you, but we can tell you that if your beneficiary isn’t updated, your loved ones may not have the peace of mind you intended.

If you’ve had a recent life event such as a change in marital status, the addition of a child, or the death of a loved one, then now is a good time to review your beneficiary designation for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI), Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) and VA Insurance policies with policy numbers starting with V, RH, RS, J, K or W. It’s the best way to ensure your life insurance benefit is paid to the people you want.

Not keeping beneficiaries up to date may result in your benefits going to a former spouse or a deceased parent’s estate.  It could also result in payment delays at a time when your loved one needs the money.  For example, if the listed beneficiaries are children from a first marriage, then children from a current marriage might contest the claim if they believe they have more recent documents showing they should be the beneficiaries.  No one could be paid until it is determined who legally is entitled to the money.

Even if you haven’t had a recent life event, it’s a good idea to review your beneficiaries at least once a year around tax time, or another memorable date. So, mark it on your calendar as an annual event. And remember, you have the legal right to name any beneficiary you want and change your beneficiary at any time. You can also update your SGLI or VGLI policy at any time within eBenefits, the joint VA/DoD online benefits portal.

You can access all Change of Beneficiary forms here.  Here’s how:

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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