Why It’s Important to Name a Beneficiary

When creating any type of financial account, whether it’s a savings account, retirement savings account, or life insurance, one of the more important details to consider is the naming of a beneficiary or beneficiaries.

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is an individual or entity that will receive all or a portion of the proceeds of that account if you die. You may name or designate one or more individuals, including a trust or your estate, as a beneficiary.

3 reasons to name a beneficiary

1. It eliminates confusion. By having a current beneficiary on all your accounts, you leave no doubt as to what you wish to be done with your hard-earned money or insurance proceeds.

2. It saves time. If you die and have not named a beneficiary, this will delay the transfer of whatever funds are in those accounts. In some instances, the delay could be significant and require that the person in charge of your affairs or estate complete a lot of paperwork to make it happen. If there are final expenses to be taken care of, the impact could be significant.

3. It helps ensure the financial wellness of your loved ones. This is particularly important when it comes to life insurance, where the main purpose is to provide money for a particular purpose, such as to help cover funeral expenses or to replace income.

Once you’ve named your beneficiaries, keep them current

Whenever you open a financial account or purchase a life insurance policy, naming a beneficiary should be one of your top priorities. But as your life changes, it’s important to make sure you update the beneficiary information on all your accounts. Life events like marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, and the passing of a loved one are just some of the significant life events that may have an impact on your beneficiary information.

It’s not difficult, so there’s no reason not to

These days, financial institutions and insurance companies have greatly simplified the process of naming and updating beneficiaries. Most can be done online in a few minutes. All you need is basic information including:

  • Full legal name of person or entity
  • Full address
  • Telephone number
  • Social Security or identification number (if it’s for something other than a person)
  • Date of birth

Bottom Line

You work hard to save and do the right thing for yourself and your loved ones. Make sure you take the extra step – designate your beneficiaries and keep them current on all your financial accounts.

If you already have AICPA Life Insurance, take a few minutes to review and update your beneficiary selections by visiting the Self Service Portal. Have a question? Call one of our Advisors at 1-800-223-7473 and we’ll be happy to help.


Group Insurance coverage is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, a Prudential Financial company, Newark, NJ.


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