My former mother-in-law took out a life insurance policy for my eldest. I am furious. Is it legal?


My ex-mother-in-law has a life insurance policy on my 27-year-old daughter, her eldest granddaughter. Is it valid and legal?

We have all lived in Georgia for years. I divorced my ex-husband 26 years ago. My current husband of 24 years took in my eldest daughter and accepted her 100% as his own from the start.

My ex-husband is an alcoholic and has a very controlling and manipulative mother. He is currently on probation and is not licensed to drive after five DUIs. My ex-husband is a mother’s son. His mother is a dishonest and conniving person who will beg, borrow, cheat and steal for her “little boy” or for herself, because she feels the world owes her.

When I remarried, I was in a legal battle with my ex — or her mother, because she controlled the purse strings — on and off for about four years. My ex was trying not to pay child support. I finally accepted, because I was tired of the fight. Also, my current husband said if the ex didn’t want to take care of his own child, he would.

“We kept fighting over ridiculous things over the years.”

We kept fighting over ridiculous things over the years. Not once did my ex-husband or his parents help out financially other than what was required by the court, which was next to nothing. They didn’t help with anything school-related unless necessary; they did not help with the purchase of the first car, tuition and university fees.

They didn’t even help when my eldest asked to go to rehab because she needed help. I haven’t contacted any of them for over 10 years. I despise them all. Fast forward to today, when my eldest told me that my former mother-in-law had a life insurance policy for all of her grandchildren, plus half a dozen other people.

They have never given or even offered financial assistance over the years for anything for my daughter so why does she think it is okay to have a life insurance policy for my child? How can I cancel this policy? I can assure you that she intends to pocket the money instead of helping bury my child if – God forbid – my daughter dies.

It’s a beautiful monster! Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Former daughter-in-law

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Dear Elder,

Generally, buying a life insurance policy on a grandchild makes sense as a gift for that child, rather than a payment for the person who bought the policy.

In most states, your former stepmother would need permission from your daughter, assuming she was an adult at the time, or her parent or guardian if she was a minor. Presumably, she asked your daughter’s father for this permission. Forging such a signature would be illegal.

Of course, most grandparents take out policies for their grandkids to help them build a nest egg for college — although a 529 account would be a better alternative — or simply as a way to provide them with some cash. money at a later date. They can, for example, transfer the policy to them at the age of 18 or 25.

“As caregivers, grandparents have the right to purchase whole life insurance for their grandchildren,” according to SelectQuote, which helps people buy insurance policies. “Insurance can be purchased in the child’s name, which means the child becomes the policy owner once they reach adulthood.”

You describe all the misdeeds and absences of your ex-husband and mother-in-law, and it’s clear that this policy is very emotionally triggering. It seems to bring up all those bad memories and resentments. I don’t doubt the bad behavior or how your daughter’s father didn’t show up in her life.

“Whether or not you incite bad behavior, the choice is yours: you can let them live their lives or become hostage to their every move.”

However, by obsessing over this policy and agonizing over how it can be undone, you might as well be married to both. Whether or not you incite bad behavior, the choice is yours: you can let them live their lives or become hostage to their every move.

If you choose the latter, ask yourself what you will get out of choosing this path, because it is a choice. Maybe this anger is familiar to you, and the resentment makes you feel righted and wronged and reminds you that you’ve done your best to be a good person.

Whatever the reasons, these waves of short-term pain and anger – as valid as they are – do not serve your long-term happiness. The whole point of getting divorced and starting a new life is to leave those little concerns behind. This will only create a toxic family atmosphere.

Taking out a life insurance policy on a grandchild, a young and healthy person, can have advantages. “Plans for grandchildren rarely require review, rates will never increase, and coverage never expires,” according to Mutual Choice Insurance Agency.

For the record, there are two main types of life insurance: The first is term life, which exists for a period of time and has no cash value. The second is whole life—also called universal life, variable universal life, and indexed universal life—which, as the name suggests, lasts for a person’s lifetime.

Your former mother-in-law could either wait and, in the unlikely event that your daughter dies before her, cash in on the police. Alternatively, she could use it as a de facto savings plan and borrow policy or money sooner. However, speculating on what she can or cannot do is not healthy.

Whether her motives are selfish or altruistic, your ex-mother-in-law will have a premium to pay for every life insurance policy she owns. If it doesn’t keep up with the premiums, the policies will expire. It is his lifelong responsibility and his choice. Do yourself a favor and let her.

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