Does a child have any rights to a life insurance policy if they are not named in it?

1 answer | Last updated: Jul 06, 2010
A fellow caregiver asked...

My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We have two children together. My husband had a third child as a result of an affair. We are still married and he is currently paying child support for this other child. We have a life insurance policy and have named each other as beneficiaries. If my husband dies, does this child that he pays child support for, have any rights to his life insurance policy? The child's name is not on the policy, but our two children's names are.

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

The child not named as a beneficiary will probably not have any rights to the policy proceeds.

But take another hard look at the policy. Most insurance policies allow the insured to name a beneficiary and alternate beneficiary to take the proceeds automatically when the insured dies.

And this is just as direct as it sounds. If beneficiaries are named in this way, the proceeds go directly to them, rather than passing under the terms of a will or being distributed in some other probate proceeding.