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Deciding on single or joint life policies in marriage

The main reason people take out life insurance policies is to protect and provide for their families in a time of tragedy. These policies protect beneficiaries if their loved one dies of natural causes, an accident, an illness, is murdered or any other reason that does not include suicide. The amount of the policy varies based on the person and their mortgage and how many dependents are still living at home.

A joint life insurance policy can only be purchased by cohabitating couples or married couples. This policy covers both parties under one roof. A single life insurance policy covers only you, not your spouse and you. The biggest benefit of having single policies is that if you and your spouse die, your children receive two payouts. If you have a joint policy, your children receive one payout for the both of you.

When you have single life insurance policies in your household it's a good idea to put them in a trust. Trusts let you determine where the money will go upon your death. This is a big benefit for people who have a complex family situation, such as children from a previous marriage, adopted children or those who want to support people other than their spouse upon their death.

As with all other financial or estate documents, you should evaluate insurance policies upon divorce. You will want to change the beneficiary named on the policy when you get divorced from your former spouse to someone else.

As you prepare to apply for a life insurance policy, it's best to speak with a family law attorney in Oneida who can point you in the right direction for your situation.

Source: Your Money, "Single or joint life insurance policy: which should couples choose?," July 06, 2017

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