How can I stop an estranged family member from listing my child as a beneficiary?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can I stop an estranged family member from listing my child as a beneficiary?

A relative has listed my child very young minor as a beneficiary to a life insurance policy. My spouse and I are committed to raising our child to make their own living and to earn everything along the way. The policy will pay out and be awarded once they turn legal age 18. There is no anger because our child is receiving more money, as we are also listed and for substantially more. We have requested not to be included, however we have been unable to convince this person not to have any of our names on the policy. We all work hard for what we have and do not want any funds to be given to us that we did not earn. I feel by listing our child, and ourselves, this person is jepordizing how we are as a family and could hurt us. Also, giving an 18 year old a substantial amount of money could ultimately change their life, both good and bad. Is there any recourse legal to have us removed and deny all funds? I know it’s an odd question as most people would be excited to receive a life insurance payout but we are just not those type of people. We have seen too many people come into money and ends up tearing their family apart and we are not even interested in exploring that option.

Asked on October 20, 2016 under Insurance Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do. Any person may legally make any other person, including a minor, the beneficiary for life insurance: it is the policy holder's sole choice, and no other person can interfere in it. All you can do is raise your child right and trust that if he or she comes into money, that he or she will make the right choice(s) about what to do with it. (And any money that goes directly to you and your spouse, you can, of course, immediately donate to charity, if you like.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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