Can I have life insurance on my ex-husband?
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- You can have life insurance on your ex-husband if it is stipulated in the divorce decree that he must carry it
- You must have an insurable interest in your ex-husband to have life insurance on him
- He must be aware that you have the life insurance policy on him
It is possible to have life insurance on your ex-husband, especially if you have children together. The main question the insurance company will need answered, is whether or not you have an insurable interest in your ex-husband. In other words, is he worth more to you alive than dead?
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What is an Insurable Interest?
To have an insurable interest in your ex-husband, you must be financially dependent on him. If you have children together and he is paying child support, that would give you an insurable interest.
If he dies prematurely, it would cause you financial hardship because he helps pay your children’s living expenses.
If your ex is still paying you alimony, you have an insurable interest in him. If he died, you would suffer financial hardship. If you and your ex-husband share debt like a mortgage or credit card debt, you have an insurable interest in him.
On the other hand, if your children are grown and you and he divided your assets and both went your separate ways without an alimony agreement and you don’t share any debt, you do not have an insurable interest in him.
An insurance company will not allow you to take out a life insurance policy to make a profit when someone else dies. Therefore, you must show an insurable interest.
It is best to get the life insurance issue included in your divorce decree. Have it written that your ex must maintain a certain amount of life insurance until your children are grown, a debt is discharged, etc.
If you do not include it in the divorce decree, your ex may be unwilling to get the coverage.
Even if he does agree to the coverage, he may not want to pay the premium, It is best to get everything in writing while you can.
It should be stated how long the insurance should be maintained. It could be until the children have completed college. If you still get alimony, it could be for as long as it is payable.
Remember that you should be named as the life insurance contract owner as well as the beneficiary. That means that you are the only one who can change the beneficiary.
You may also state in the decree that if premiums are not paid, that you and your children get a percent of your husbands assets.
What happens if you already have life insurance on your ex-husband?
If you already have life insurance on your ex-husband, you should make sure you are the owner of the policy and make sure the premiums are always paid on time.
Many times, a person has remarried and they forget to change their beneficiary to their new wife and when they die, the insurance company has the right to pay the named beneficiary, even if the two people are no longer married.
Your Ex-Husband cannot be Insured without his Knowledge
You cannot just apply for a life insurance policy on your ex-husband without his knowledge. This would be illegal. He must agree to the coverage. He will need to release his medical records and may even need a medical exam to get coverage.
If your ex-husband does not want to make you the beneficiary on the policy, he can set up an insurance trust to be the beneficiary.
The trust could be set with directions for caring for the children.
Many people try to get insurance policies in secret, without the insured knowing about it. This is not legal. He must agree to the policy and sigh the application. If it is discovered that he did not sign the application, the policy can become void.
Insurance Contracts Purchased before the Divorce
If you had a life insurance policy on your ex-husband before the divorce, you can continue to make payments and maintain the coverage. If he is the owner of the contract, he can change the beneficiary. If you are the owner, you have authority over changing the beneficiary.
He can also maintain coverage on you as well. This is one issue that many divorcing couples forget to address during the divorce.
To be sure things are clear, bring up the issue with your attorney before the final papers are signed. However, if the insurance contract states you as the beneficiary and your husband has simply forgotten about the policy, upon his death, you will likely be the benefit recipient,
If You Cannot Establish an Insurable Interest
If your children are grown and you have not been able to establish an insurable interest in your ex-husband, maybe he will consider taking out his own policy and just naming you as the beneficiary.
All people have an insurable interest in themselves. Your ex-husband could simply name you as the beneficiary.
In conclusion, you can have life insurance on your ex-husband if you have an insurable interest in him.
Proving an insurable interest is easy if you have young children together or if he is still paying alimony.
If you have past debt with both your names on it, like a mortgage, business debt or credit cards, this should prove an insurable interest. The point of life insurance is to prevent unforeseen financial hardship on one or the other party.
It is a good idea to think about the life insurance policy during the negotiation phase of your divorce. Some courts may mandate coverage for both people if they have young children.
Make yourself the owner of the contract, so you can say when and how a beneficiary might be changed. You should make a point of keeping the policy in force, even if you have to pay the premium yourself.
If you forgot to include a life insurance policies discussion in your divorce negotiations, you may be able to talk to your ex about the subject, when picking up your kids from visitation.
If your husband’s income is critical to the care of your children, a life insurance policy is essential to you and your children’s wellbeing.
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