Whatare the rights of a child with a parent in the military if that parent is killed in action?

UPDATED: Apr 22, 2011

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Whatare the rights of a child with a parent in the military if that parent is killed in action?

My son’s father is in the military and he is married. He has left his wife as the beneficiary. I wanted to know if something was to happen to him can she change his Will and life insurance, or decide who gets what? Since my son’s father is in the military and something does happen to him, do they have it in the military to have it set up for the child to be taken care of financially? Is it true when a man has 2 sons and 2 different baby mama’s, that  the son who was born first will receive more than the younger one?

Asked on April 22, 2011 under Estate Planning, Georgia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of of all, a beneficiary has no right to change the instrument under which they are receiving a benefit.  Therefore, no, this woman cannot change the terms of either the Will or life insurance policy (or anything else); only the maker of the Will or the owner of the policy can do that.  As for one son receiving more than another, again the answer is no; there's nothing in the law providing/requiring this.  Finally what, if anything, the military mandates in terms of providing for a child in the case of their father's death while in the line of duty, that's what the life insurance policy is for.  As for any other protections afforded to such a child, you would have to contact the military directly or consult with an attorney who specializes in military law matters.

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