Re-marriage, divorce, separation, LGBT relationship, re-coupling, living together, dating and being alone—these are all strong trends when it comes to the American family ties. Though it might sound rather critical for a society that we live in, the fact is, these are facts. Blended families are rising in number in the USA.
Back in 1990, US Bureau of Census pointed out American families last only 7 years on an average. And, one out of two families ends in divorce. This is enough to indicate how brittle our families can be.
The trends often inevitably bring up another issue— step children. When you have step children from the previous family from your new partner in life’s side, you might wonder how life insurance for step children works.
Your curiosity might arise for two reasons:
1) You might want your step children to get insured so that they may remain secure.
2) You might want your step children not to receive any benefit from the insurance that you currently own or may own in future.
In either case, you need the right knowledge about how life insurance for step children functions.
Ways to Do Something
Some step parents do not want to discriminate between their step children and biological children. Having the same loving heart for both the children, they would want their step children to stay financially secure the same way their biological children would be.
Sad news is, your step children will not benefit from your estate or property. Only your legal children, biological and adopted, have the right to your estate. They will have the inheritance right to your property no matter you could leave a will in their favor or not.
There are 3 ways you can ensure you do something for your step children.
You can adopt your step child legally to enable it to inherit share (if there are other claimants) in your property. It is always better to leave a clean will so that the step child does not have to go to probate to prove its right to the property.
The other way is to leave a gift in favor of the step child. You will not need to adopt the child for giving a gift. The name of the child and the idea of the gift have to be made clear to avoid future confusion.
The third way is to designate the step children as beneficiaries to insurance policy that you own. Even if you adopt the child, you need to update the beneficiary list to include its name in the policy. Or, the child will not benefit from the life insurance.
While updating and you have other children to benefit from your policy, you should clarify how much or what share of the benefit the child should when you pass on.
Always Not Necessary
Some parents consider not getting a step-child insured to be discriminatory. But the child that is entering your family might really not need life insurance for two reasons.
On one hand, the child may already be a beneficiary to its biological parent’s policy. Unless the parent removes the child from the nominee list, it is going to be financially secure.
On the other hand, your new wife will be an inheritor to your estate. As she is a biological parent, the child is going to get its share in the property that she will own.
So ask yourself the following questions with regard to step child life insurance:
- Does the child need life insurance protection?
- Do I want to provide protection to the child?
Your answers should determine which way you should go.