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Can I change the beneficiary on my life insurance policy? If so, how do I do it?

You can generally change the beneficiary on your life insurance policy at any time and as often as you wish, assuming you are the owner of the policy. However, your life insurance company may require that you meet certain conditions or make specific actions when you change the beneficiary.

When you applied for the insurance, you may have made the beneficiary designation irrevocable. This means the beneficiary cannot be changed without the consent of that same beneficiary. The policy itself will indicate whether or not a beneficiary is irrevocable.

The best way to change the beneficiary is to call your life insurance agent, who will help you fill out a form indicating the new primary beneficiary. Although the primary beneficiary has first right to receive the proceeds from the policy, you may declare as many people as you want to be your primary beneficiaries. If you indicate more than one, each will share the proceeds according to your stated wishes.

If you cannot reach your life insurance agent, contact your life insurance company's nearest branch office or its home office. A contact number for the company is usually listed on your premium statement, and most companies have toll-free numbers listed in directory assistance. If you can't find a phone number or address, another option is to contact your property and casualty insurance agency. Many of these agencies have a life insurance professional on staff or know someone who can help you.