No parent wants to face the prospect of dying while their children are young. However, it can happen. Responsible parents will make sure children can receive care if the worst strikes. Giving your child a strong financial future through life insurance is one way to do so. It can help your child cover many of their needs as they grow up, including education costs.
The cost of an education costs a pretty penny in this day and age. Your death means you won’t be able to provide income that can sustain a fund for your kids’ college. However, life insurance can supplement the money you can no longer provide. Making sure that the money goes to your minor’s needs will take a conscious effort on your part.
Leaving Life Insurance to a Minor
Parents want their children to benefit from insurance they leave for education. In most cases, that means making the child the life insurance policy’s beneficiary. The beneficiary is the person who will receive the payout from the life insurance. However, making a child a beneficiary is not a cut-and-dry process. You have to often take a multi-step approach to sure money effectively reaches the child.
Most life insurance policies will not directly pay a minor. So, you have to carefully craft your policy to make sure it gets used for the child’s educational purposes. You can do this several ways:
- Make your spouse the beneficiary of the policy. The spouse is most likely to follow your wishes that the money goes to a child’s education. Or, you might name the child the beneficiary while appointing an adult custodian. The adult will then manage the child's money. This is a simple answer but it might not contain the strongest protection.
- If the life insurance has no conditions, adult beneficiaries can often use the money as they please. The money might divert away from a child's educational needs. Therefore, consider placing the money in a beneficiary trust. The trust will contain specific conditions for managing and distributing the money. The child will remain the beneficiary of the trust.
Most states have laws on who they consider minors. Life insurance companies might also place limits on the definition of a minor as well. Look at statutory requirements to see how you must tailor your policy. Your insurance agent and a trusted legal adviser can help you structure your policy as you wish. That way, when your kids needs the money for school, they can access it. For more information or to ask questions about life insurance call your local life insurance agent at 844.926.0860.
You might also like: Are There Tax Benefits to Having Life Insurance? and Can Life Insurance Cover Mortgage Payments for Your Loved Ones?