Proceed Options After a Spouse’s Death

June 1, 2021
Proceed Options After a Spouse’s Death

How assuming ownership can be the best choice

If an annuity owner passes away, do you know the options for the surviving spouse and beneficiary on an annuity? One option is to take advantage of our spousal continuance and assume ownership of the contract.

Why recommend that a spouse assume ownership of a policy?

This special option allows a spouse to assume ownership – and all benefits -- of an annuity contract. The months following the death of a loved one may not be the ideal time to make financial decisions. Assuming ownership of the annuity contract is often the easiest and best choice, offering several unique advantages:

  • The money will continue earning tax-deferred interest at the same rates as when the policyowner held the contract.
    • Traditional IRAs and other qualified policies may be subject to IRS-required minimum distributions.
  • The spouse can choose new beneficiaries.
  • There’s no need to transfer funds, so the process is quick and easy.
  • All the terms of the original contract will still apply, including:
    • Minimum guaranteed crediting rates.
    • Terminal conditions and nursing home withdrawal benefits.
    • The option to convert the policy into scheduled payments now or in the future, including guaranteed payments for life.

What are other options for spouses?

Choose a payment stream
Receive guaranteed payments for several years or for the rest of their lives.

Purchase a new annuity
Purchase a new annuity from The Standard that best meets their financial needs. They’ll continue to defer taxes until they withdraw funds.

Earn interest
Place their funds in an interest contract. You can keep them at The Standard for 5 or 10 years, depending on the type of annuity. There are no fees or surrender charges with this option, and spouses can withdraw part or all of their money at any time.

Other proceed options

  • Receive a check with a lump-sum payout
  • Move the money to another financial institution .

We recommend beneficiaries consult with a financial professional or tax planner to help choose the best option for their situation.

Why stick with The Standard?

Choose a payment stream
We’ve been around for over 100 years. Our financial commitment is built on the strength of our disciplined financial practices, sound investment strategies, unique mix of high-performing businesses, industry expertise and the stability of a long-term outlook. We’ve maintained an 'A' rating or higher from A.M. Best Company since 1928.


Annuities are not (a) insured by the FDIC or any federal government agency, (b) deposits of or guaranteed by any bank or credit union and (c) a provision or condition of any bank or credit union activity. Some annuities are subject to investment risk and may lose value. A surrender charge may apply during the surrender period, and a 10% penalty may apply to withdrawals prior to age 59½.


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