Should I reduce my life insurance death benefit after I’ve gone through a divorce?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Determining whether or not you should lower your life insurance death benefit after your divorce can be difficult.

  • How much debt do you have? Your life insurance death benefit will help your beneficiaries pay off your debt. After a divorce it is possible that you could have more debt than you had before the divorce, in which case, don’t lower your death benefit.
  • Who are your beneficiaries? If you have children as beneficiaries to your policy, then you need to consider their lives and care in your death benefit. As a divorced parent, you cannot count on your other spouse to be able to support your children alone and put them through college. You may actually need MORE coverage as a single parent.

Be sure to take an objective look at your current debt and responsibilities as well as those that could come in your future. Your health, age and weight will all change over the years making it difficult, expensive or even impossible to increase your death benefit; so reducing it now could be a big mistake.

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