Designation of a life insurance beneficiary
Erin Connors’ article about designating your life insurance beneficiary [BCMJ 2022;64:377] has solid, poignant information, recommending that you designate a beneficiary for your policy in the case of your death and ensure that you stipulate a trustee to handle the funds if the beneficiary is still a minor.
When our son unexpectedly died 20 years ago without having made a will, nephews had been named as beneficiaries of his two policies. The one living in BC immediately lost 10% of the payout to the public trustee, who had to handle the funds under BC law. The one living in Quebec was able to avoid this by having his parents designated as trustees.
Another BC peculiarity, and a catch-22, is that to administer an intestate estate one needs letters of administration, which can be obtained only if details of items like life insurance policies are given up front. But to get those details, insurance companies demand that you provide them with letters of administration!
Perhaps the insurance department of Doctors of BC could spearhead changes to probate law in BC to remove this legal incongruity and to make it possible for parents to administer life insurance policy benefits for minors under the supervision of a public trustee, as is done in Quebec, without the large windfall deduction from those funds.
—Anthony Walter, MD
This letter was submitted in response to “Life insurance: Time for a beneficiary designation checkup.”
|This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.|
Anthony Walter, MD. Designation of a life insurance beneficiary. BCMJ, Vol. 65, No. 1, January, February, 2023, Page(s) 7 - Letters.
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org