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Convoluted mess with multiple issues

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Junior Member

When my son was an infant, his father and I (we were never married) purchased a life insurance policy from New York Life so if his father died, my son would be taken care of - I had life insurance through my job at that time - he did not. My son's father is shown as the owner of the policy, but the premiums have been automatically withdrawn from my checking account every month for 28 years. I was listed as the beneficiary because my son was an infant.

A few years ago I contacted New York Life (my son's father got married a decade or so ago and I wanted to make sure he hadn't changed the beneficiary on the policy), but because he is listed as the owner of the policy, I was told they could not disclose any information. However, the representative took pity on me and slightly bent the rules in telling me, 'there had been no changes to the policy since inception,' meaning I was still listed as the beneficiary.

I have moved and do my banking at a different financial institution, and am wanting to close the checking account from which the premiums have always been paid, but first want to know what the law says about situations like this. My son and I live in Kansas, and my son's father now lives in Nebraska.
1) As owner of the policy, could he switch the beneficiary to his wife while I'm still paying the premiums - sticking me with the bill and leaving my son high and dry?
2) If I contact the insurance company to have the premiums drawn from my new account and they notify him (I'm pretty sure he's forgotten about it), could he cancel the policy/cash it out leaving me/my son nothing to show for all the premiums I've paid?
3) When he dies, would his wife have legal grounds to collect from the life insurance settlement that I've paid for because he is shown as the owner of the policy?
4) What if I die before he does, but the payments continue to be made from my account (I will be adding my son to the account) - will my son be able to collect on the policy with me listed as the beneficiary?

The representative I spoke with suggested I request an ownership change from my son's father - but I don't want to remind him of the policy until I know if he can cash it out/change beneficiary/or otherwise deny my son his inheritance. He was a deadbeat dad and an alcoholic - he would DEFINITELY do anything he could to mess this up just to piss me off.
Can you help with any of these questions, or suggest someone who can?
Thank you - C. Flory
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Senior Member
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. No
4. No

And you have no right to seek a change of ownership. It is his policy. Unless he relinquishes it, it remains his.


Junior Member
Thank you for your reply... that's mostly what I thought/feared. On #4 - if I die first, and the premiums continue to be paid - who would collect on the policy if not my son and sole heir?
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