Can I set my domestic partner as the owner of my life insurance policy?
UPDATED: Mar 15, 2015
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Asked March 15, 2015
In life insurance, a person has to show an insurable interest before they can purchase a life insurance policy on you. As long as it can be demonstrated that the person has something to lose, either financial or emotionally, by your death, then they can legally own a policy on your life.
You might think that domestic partnerships have to be recognized in your state before your partner can own a policy on your life, but that is not the case. As long as there is an insurable interest, then the policy ownership is valid. If you and your domestic partner split up, the ownership of the policy would have to be reviewed, but as long as you remain together, then the coverage is warranted.
The common misconception is that the owner of the policy has to be the person named in the policy. In truth, there is a wide range of people and organizations which might have an insurable interest but no direct relation. For example, your employer could own a life insurance policy on you if they can show that your death would be catastrophic for the business. As the key founder of a local civic group, the organization might insure you against the loss to the organization if you pass away before certain goals have been reached. The potential for loss or suffering is all that is needed in order to own a life insurance policy on you.
It is becoming more and more common for states and insurance companies to recognize domestic partnerships. For you, this means that the question of whether your partner can own a life insurance policy on you is becoming moot, because, as living partners, you are considered to share in everything. Even if your state or insurance company do not yet recognize domestic partnerships, being able to show that your demise would be a traumatic experience is reason enough to justify an insurable interest.
Answered March 28, 2015 by Anonymous