Is a step-parent able to take out life insurance on a step-child?

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Is a step-parent able to take out life insurance on a step-child?

Asked on September 25, 2011 under Insurance Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

While it would not be a bad idea to discuss this matter and any options you (or the step parent, if you are not the step parent in question) might have with an insurance agent you trust, it would initially appear that the step parent could *not* do this. That is because a step parent does not in fact have parental rights over the child; the step parent relationship, while clearly an important one, does not actually have anywhere near as much legal recognition or authority as one might think. Only a parent or other legal guardian would be able to take out insurance on a child; a step parent, without  more (e.g. some court order, etc. providing legal guardianship) would not have the rights or the authority to do this. Certainly the child's parent could insure him/her and name the step parent as one of the beneficiaries.


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