Who will my policy pay when there is a claim
Another point to consider is do you want the policy written in trust? The answer can vary depending on what policy you have and if you have a Will. The following should be used as a rough guide:
- If you have a joint life policy and one of you passes away the policy will usually be paid to the surviving partner.
- If you have a critical illness policy the benefits will usually be paid to yourself.
- If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness the benefit is usually paid to yourself before you pass away.
- If you have a single life policy and you pass away the proceeds of the policy will form part of your estate. If you die intestate (no will) the policy will follow the rules of intestacy and usually be distributed to ever widening circles of your close family. If you have a will the policy benefit will be paid to the beneficiaries listed in the will.
Another way to ensure that the funds of a life policy reach the right people is to write the policy into trust. This effectively gifts the proceeds of the policy to a third party, typically an individual or group of individuals.
You can gift all the benefits of your policy, for example the death benefit and critical illness benefit, or you can split the trust so that you retain some of the benefits yourself (for example a critical illness payment). A split trust is required to retain the critical illness benefit for yourself whilst gifting the death benefit to someone else.
Along with ensuring the proceeds of your plan are paid to the right people there are two other main advantages to writing a policy into trust: 1 - the benefit is paid immediately (avoiding any lengthy probate delays) and 2 - the benefits are paid free from inheritance tax.
The two main types of trust are the Bare Trust (cannot be changed) and the Flexible Trust (can be changed once written).
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