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Protecting your loved ones: Keep your beneficiary information up to date

Nov 10, 2021

Categories: Employee Benefits, News

Designating a life insurance beneficiary is important to ensure your loved ones are taken care of. Life insurance will be paid directly to your named beneficiary within a few weeks of your death. Your loved ones do not have to wait for your estate to be settled.

The primary beneficiary is the person or persons who will receive the life insurance proceeds when you pass away.

The contingent beneficiary is the person or persons who will receive the life insurance proceeds if the primary beneficiary or beneficiaries should die before you.


Mary has listed her spouse Betty as her primary beneficiary. Mary’s two elderly parents Frank and Lily are listed as Mary’s contingent beneficiaries. Betty passes away on June 1, 2020. Mary then passes away on September 3, 2021. Since Betty passed away before Mary, Mary’s life insurance proceeds would then be payable to Mary’s parents Frank and Lily if they are still alive.  

How to update your information

You may change your beneficiary designations at any time. Find the blank beneficiary designation form here

Your beneficiary designation form is a legal and binding document. Complete the form as a part of your estate and financial planning. As life events happen, keep your beneficiary information updated to protect your loved ones. 

Things to know when designating beneficiaries

  • The new form you complete will replace all prior beneficiary designations. The plan member must sign and date it. 
  • 3sHealth can now accept scanned or emailed copies of beneficiary forms. 
  • Please do not use whiteout. Simply cross out any errors and write your initials beside the change. 
  • The allocation percentage of the primary beneficiary amount must total 100 per cent.
  • The allocation percentage of the contingent beneficiary amount must total 100 per cent. 
  • If you do not detail a percentage of the benefit for each party, the policy proceeds will be divided equally among all of your named primary beneficiaries, or your contingent beneficiaries, in the event that your primary beneficiaries have predeceased you. 
  • Please provide a trustee for all minor children named as beneficiaries. 
  • If your minor beneficiaries are listed as contingent beneficiaries, please do not name the trustee as the same person named as the primary beneficiary. 
  • A power of attorney cannot sign the beneficiary designation for you. 

Get in touch: If you would like more information, please email with your request. Thank you for reading this article.