The Complete Guide to Beneficiary Nomination for Life Insurance

Beneficiary nomination often involves the spouse and children within a family

After getting insured with a Life Insurance policy, you can rest assured knowing that your loved ones will be financially supported in the unfortunate event of your demise. But who will receive the benefits? And how will the benefits be distributed? That’s when a beneficiary nomination can get things in order. Here’s everything you need to know about making a beneficiary nomination.

What is a beneficiary nomination?

A beneficiary nomination determines who get the benefits of your Life Insurance policy after you’ve passed on. It’s legal and binding. Therefore, it helps clear any dispute and ensures that the benefits are paid to the right person, with the right amount. To make a beneficiary nomination, the policyholder needs to be at least 18 years old and is the one insured under the policy.

What if you don’t make a beneficiary nomination?

It’s NOT compulsory to make a nomination.

While alive, the policyholder enjoys the living benefits provided by his/her policy. In the event of death, if no nomination was made, the insurer may pay the policy benefits up to a specific amount to any person considered as the proper claimant such as the policyholder’s child, spouse or next-of-kin.

However, if no nomination is made, but you leave behind a will which was informed to the insurance company, then the policy benefits will be distributed according to your will.

Trust Nomination VS Revocable Nomination

Depending on who you decide to nominate and how you want the benefits to be distributed, you can choose to make either a Trust Nomination or a Revocable Nomination with the relevant form*.

*All forms provided below are for beneficiary nomination by policyholders of Etiqa Insurance.

Trust Nomination

A mother and father looking at their daughter while using the computer together

The policyholder gives up his/her rights and ownership of the policy to the ones nominated. All benefits – both living benefits and death benefits – of the policy belong to the nominees. Such nomination can only be made for your spouse or children. However, as the policyholder, you’re still obliged to pay the regular premium for the policy.

Due to the exchange of rights and ownership of the policy, consent is required from all the nominees if you want to make changes to the policy, take a loan under the policy, surrender the policy, or revoke the nomination.

How to make a Trust Nomination?

To make a Trust Nomination, you have to submit Form 1 with accurate information. Two witnesses aged 21 and above are required. These witnesses cannot be your spouse or children, nor can they be the nominees or their spouse. You must specify the percentage amount of the policy benefits each nominee will receive – amounting to 100% – if there are more than one nominee.

Do you need a Trustee?

It’s possible for you to appoint a Trustee when you’re making a Trust Nomination using the Form 1 above. A Trustee is someone that you trust will manage the policy benefits responsibly. They can receive the benefits of the policy on behalf of the nominees and give consent for revocation of Trust Nomination by the policyholder. A Trustee can be changed or added at any time by using Form 3. A Trustee can also be one of the nominees as long as they are 18 years and above.

What happens after you passed away?

Once you made a valid Trust Nomination using Form 1 to the insurance company, your policy benefits will be distributed to your nominees at the event of your death. If the nominees are below 18 years old, their parents or legal guardian will receive the benefits. And if there’s a Trustee, the benefits will be paid to the Trustee. But if the policyholder appointed him/herself as the Trustee, the benefits will be paid to the Nominees.

What happens if a Trust nominee passed away before you do?

In the unfortunate event that a nominee passes away before the policyholder, their share of the benefits will be distributed to the estate of the deceased nominee.

How to revoke a Trust Nomination?

Life is full of unpredictable changes. Sometimes, a policyholder may want to revoke their Trust Nomination and make a new one. This could be due to changes in one’s family structure such as having children.

To revoke a Trust Nomination, you need consent from the Trustee (who must not be the policyholder), or all the Nominees (or their parents/legal guardians if they are under 18). If a nominee has passed away, you need consent from the Trustee (who must not be the policyholder), or the benefits will still go to the estate of the deceased nominee. In this case, you’ll need to complete and submit Form 2. Once revoked, you can make a new Trust Nomination using Form 1. Or consider making a Revocable Nomination.

Revocable Nomination

The policyholder holds the rights and ownership of the policy. You get to enjoy the living benefits provided by your policy, whereas the death benefits will be paid to the nominees (or their parents/legal guardian if they are under 18 years of age). Only policyholders who are 18 years and above can make a Revocable nomination. You are free to change, add or remove nominees without the nominees’ consent. Anyone can be nominated in a Revocable Nomination, not just spouse and children.

How to make a Revocable Nomination?

To make a Revocable Nomination, you have to complete Form 4. Specify the percentage amount of the policy benefits each nominee will receive – amounting to 100% – if there are more than one nominee. Once you informed the insurance company, your death benefits will be distributed to the nominees upon your death.

No Trustee is required.

What happens if a Revocable nominee passed away before you do?

If there are more than one nominee, the deceased nominee’s share of the benefits will be distributed equally to the surviving nominees. If you named only one nominee, or if all the nominees passed away, the nomination is automatically revoked upon their death. You can make a new Revocable Nomination using Form 4, or consider making a Trust Nomination using Form 1.

How to revoke a Revocable Nomination?

Sometimes things don’t work out between you and others, or perhaps you have more people to share the benefits with. Either way, to revoke a Revocable Nomination, you can complete Form 5 in the presence of two witnesses who are 21 years and above. Only the policyholder can revoke the nomination and it is within their rights to do so without the consent of the nominees. You can then consider making a Trust Nomination using Form 1, or make a new Revocable Nomination using Form 4.

Did you write a will after making a Revocable Nomination?

Since you did not give up the rights and ownership of the policy, this type of nomination can be revoked by the policyholder’s will if the will is made after the nomination. Please submit Form 6 to us as a notice of revocation if you’ve prepared a will detailing how the death benefits should be distributed.

Relevant forms: Make your beneficiary nomination now

Beneficiary nomination: Things to note

You can mail the completed forms to us at One Raffles Quay #22-01 North Tower Singapore 048583, or email to

We will process your beneficiary nomination and send you a confirmation letter, email and/or SMS within 7 working days.

Have questions? You can contact us at +65 6887 8777 or for further enquiries.


Information is accurate as at 19 August 2020.

Tiq by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd.

A digital insurance channel that embraces changes to provide simple and convenient protection, Tiq’s mission is to make insurance transparent and accessible, inspiring you today to be prepared for life’s surprises and inevitabilities, while empowering you to “Live Unlimited” and take control of your tomorrow.

With a shared vision to change the paradigm of insurance and reshape customer experience, Etiqa created the strong foundation for Tiq. Because life never stops changing, Etiqa never stops progressing. A licensed life and general insurance company registered in the Republic of Singapore and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Etiqa is governed by the Insurance Act and has been providing insurance solutions since 1961. It is 69% owned by Maybank, Southeast Asia’s fourth largest banking group, with more than 22 million customers in 20 countries; and 31% owned by Ageas, an international insurance group with 33 million customers across 16 countries.

Discover the full range of Tiq online insurance plans here.



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