How do I leave life insurance to my minor child?

Asked by: Miss Sabryna Bayer  |  Last update: February 11, 2022
Score: 4.4/5 (62 votes)

Life insurance policies cannot make a distribution to a minor child. It is better to select an adult guardian or set up a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account. The best option is establishing a trust for your child and naming the trust as the beneficiary.

Can you put a minor as a beneficiary on life insurance?

Naming your child as the primary beneficiary on your life insurance policy is an option, but you should always aim to leave it with someone aged over 18 first, ensuring they take care of the child and protect the money until the minor is old enough to access it.

Can I transfer my life insurance policy to my child?

When gifting a life insurance policy to children, keep in mind that you'll be responsible for keeping the policy active by making regular premium payments. Once the child is an adult, you can transfer ownership of the policy to them.

What happens if life insurance beneficiary is under 18?

A life insurance company will not release a policy payout to a child who has not reached the “age of majority” (typically 18 or 21 depending upon the state). If a minor becomes the beneficiary of a life insurance payout, then the decision regarding what to do with the proceeds is in the hands of the probate court.

What happens when you name a minor as a beneficiary?

Who gets the death benefit if you name a minor as a beneficiary? If your beneficiary is under the age of majority when you die, a court-appointed adult becomes the custodian of the funds. The court will most likely choose the surviving parent or the guardian listed in your will.

Minor Children as Beneficiaries to Life Insurance? Think again!

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What happens if you leave life insurance to a minor?

The beneficiary receives the proceeds of a life insurance policy if you were to die. ... Minor children cannot directly receive the proceeds of a life insurance policy. Instead, the state would appoint a legal guardian if you hadn't done so, which is a lengthy and costly process.

How do I set up a life insurance trust for a minor?

Steps for establishing a life insurance trust for your children
  1. Hire an estates attorney.
  2. Connect your accountant and financial planner with your estates attorney to address any tax implications.
  3. Select a trustee and backup trustee.
  4. Change beneficiaries on your life insurance policies to your child's trust.

Can I make my minor child a beneficiary?

Naming a minor child as your life insurance beneficiary is not recommended. Life insurance policies cannot make a distribution to a minor child. It is better to select an adult guardian or set up a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account.

At what age can a child inherit money?

Until a person reaches the age of adulthood—18 in most states—they cannot legally inherit any money, property, or other assets from a trust or a will. If you want to allow a minor to access your money while they are underage, you do have certain legal options.

Can I cancel a life insurance policy My parents have on me?

The parent or grandparent sometimes will simply opt to surrender (terminate) the policy and receive the surrender value in cash. If your parent or grandparent owns a policy on you and you prefer to be the owner, you can offer to buy it from them. Offer what the policy is worth in exchange for transferring ownership.

How much life insurance do you need for a child?

This will give you about $10,000 to $15,000 worth of coverage should one of your children pass. This amount should be enough to cover most or all of the funeral costs. However, after the loss of a child, you are likely to need time off work.

What are its tax consequences of transferring life insurance?

In general, life insurance death benefits are exempt from taxation. If, however, you transfer a life insurance policy to another party in exchange for money or any other kind of material consideration, the death benefit proceeds may become fully or partially taxable. This is known as the transfer-for-value rule.

Is there gift tax on life insurance?

If you transfer a life insurance policy to a beneficiary, tax authorities regard the transaction as a gift. Under current gift tax rules, if you transfer a policy with a present value of more than $16,000 to another person, gift taxes will be assessed.

How do you split life insurance beneficiaries?

You can name more than one person to receive the proceeds of your life insurance policy and designate the portion each will receive when you die. For example, many parents of adult children name all of the kids to get equal shares.

Does a will override a beneficiary on a life insurance policy?

Your life insurance beneficiary determines who gets the money upon your death, and your will can't override it.

How can I leave money to my son but not his wife?


One of the easiest ways to shield your assets is to pass them to your child through a trust. The trust can be created today if you want to give money to your child now, or it can be created in your will and go into effect after you are gone.

What is a minor beneficiary?

Minors can be beneficiaries, but they can't legally own their property until they come of age. What happens when you leave an inheritance to a beneficiary who is still a minor depends on the nature of the bequest and state law.

How does a minor receive inheritance?

A minor beneficiary can be named in a Will or a Trust or, by default, be entitled to an inheritance through intestate succession. However, in California, a minor cannot legally own property until they are 18 years of age and must wait until the age of majority to take possession of it.

Who should be my beneficiary if I'm single?

Choose a Person

You can name anyone as a beneficiary, not just a spouse: Parents, children, siblings, a special-needs niece, close friends, your unmarried partner or anyone else. ... Instead, you name a custodian to manage the money for the child until he comes of age.

Should I set up a trust for my child?

Setting up a trust for a child can protect their assets not only now, but in the future. For instance, if your child receives their inheritance outright, they might place those funds in a joint bank account with a future spouse.

How do you transfer a life insurance policy into a trust?

In order to transfer your policy to a trust for estate tax purposes, you must create an irrevocable life insurance trust and then place the policy inside of the trust. After you transfer the policy, you are no longer the policy owner and the policy benefits will not be included in your estate.

What is a trust for a minor child?

“Trusts for minors”, or minor's trusts, are very specific types of trusts that are used to hold and distribute property or assets to minors. They typically provide instructions that the money or property assets will be held in trust until the minor reaches the age of majority.

How do you designate a minor beneficiary?


The three best options for a child beneficiary to receive a life insurance payout are: 1) name a trusted adult, 2) use a living trust, or 3) utilize a UTMA/UGMA.

Who should you never name as a beneficiary?

4. Never name your estate as your life insurance beneficiary. This is a common mistake that should always be avoided! Naming your estate as the beneficiary subjects the life insurance probates, creditors, and potential taxes.

Is life insurance considered inheritance?

Life insurance can help offset that amount, so you can pass on all or most of your estate. Death benefits are paid income tax-free to your beneficiaries, but life insurance proceeds are generally considered an asset of the estate for estate tax purposes.