Explained by an Expert: What Is an Irrevocable beneficiary?

I’m going to talk a little bit about an irrevocable beneficiary and how it works in terms of a life insurance policy. Irrevocable beneficiaries are unique in that the policy owner needs the consent of the beneficiary to change that beneficiary. Irrevocable beneficiary designations are often set up as part of a marital breakup. The ex-spouses want to know, as part of the settlement, that the policy owner is going to keep that ex-spouse on as a beneficiary, and that they can’t change that without the beneficiary’s consent. That’s what’s unique about the irrevocable beneficiary: it needs both the consent of the beneficiary and of the policy owner. It differs from a revocable beneficiary, which is the traditional beneficiary set-up, where the owner of the policy can change it at any time without the consent of the beneficiary.


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