I have a Life Insurance Beneficiary form where employee can add upto 3 individuals (Name, Address, DOB, SSN and relationship).

Should I create 1 list with repeating columns (Name1, Address1a, Address1b, DOB1, SSN1, Relationship1 || Name2, Address2a, Address2b, DOB2, SSN2, Relationship2 || Name3, Address3a, Address3b, DOB3, SSN3, Relationship3)


I should follow relationship model where I would have a seperate table to list this values (Just one set of columns) and Make sure LIBKey matches between 2 lists.

What would you do? What is the best approach? (I will be designing a Infopath form and workflow so initial design should cost me too much dev time when designing these).

Just need your 2 cents. I know there are some good brains on this forum.

2 Answers 2


I'd probably make a repeating section for the beneficiary information for ease of use for the end user. Then on item submit, create something that merges the repeating fields into one (or more) text block(s) that prmotes to a single (or more) multiline column in the form library if needed.

Like David says, if you do need to report on all the beneficiaries, you can dump that out into a separate list with a lookup field to tie them together.

If you need to report on all aspects of the demographic information, then separating it out into multiple lists would be much easier to use (Spouse list, Child1 list, Child2 list Child 3 list, etc). These could all inherit from the same base content type, like Dependancy, which would help in rolling up the data.

You could also do it with one list and each entry in the form is a separate list item, linked to the submitter. You could have separate content types for spouses and children to help or just use spouse/child as a choice column.

Alot of this depends on what you need to do with the data after submission.


I think it'll depend on what you're doing with the list of beneficiaries. If you're only collecting it, then printing it out, like in your form, then keep it in the form and don't worry about promoting it to a list.

If you'll be using the information for possible reporting, then using a 2nd list would be best. I'd lean away from a single list with triplicate columns, that gets real messy real fast.


  • Thank you sir for your 10 cents. I raised your value from 2 to 10 cents. LOL. Good said. Thanks for the speedy reply. Laura Mar 5, 2012 at 16:45

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