Failure to update beneficiaries is one of the most common oversights with life insurance policies. If someone gets divorced and fails to update their beneficiary designation, then the death benefit goes to the ex-spouse (assuming they were the primary beneficiary.) This will occur even if an updated will says otherwise. Most people think a will supersedes a life insurance policy designation, but it does not. Just ask any lawyer! There are exceptions to this, such as when a decedent can be shown to have been incapacitated or “unduly influenced”,
The term “laddering” is commonly used with reference to financial products such as CDs, but it can also be used with life insurance. Simply put, laddering is a strategy employed to have more than one financial product “expire” or mature at different dates to benefit the owner. With respect to CDs, this concept protects against reinvesting a large amount of money in a poor financial climate. This concept has been applied to life insurance since the need for life insurance tends to diminish over time as debts are paid off and assets grow in value.
Generally speaking, people are comfortable shopping online for most items. The Internet is a great tool for gathering information and advice prior to making a purchase — and this especially holds true for life insurance. There are numerous sites online that provide instant quotes and solid, basic information about life insurance. Some sites are more “salesy” than others, but it doesn’t take long to sift out those sites and focus on the ones that are professional and helpful.
The popular mega-sites have call centers that make it very easy to ask questions and apply for coverage.