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Is it possible to collect things like life insurance for a child whos father has pasted if he is not on the birth certificate?

Springfield, MA |

I am pregnant with my first child. The father is a older man who is more a friend then a parther. I do not wish to put his name on the birth certificat cause i do not want him to pay child support. However i was wondering if something should happen to him is it still possible to collect things like life insurance for the child?

Attorney Answers 5


Life insurance is paid to a beneficiary and has nothing to do with relationship. I would rethink your decision. If you are certain that this is the father of your child then his name should be listed on the birth certificate. There is no need for you to seek child support if you do not want to, however, if he is the father of your child he should be identified as such on the certificate.

In the event this person passes away your child will have an entitlement to a portion, if not all, of the estate unless the child is expressly omitted from a legal Will.

Good luck

The content of this message does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to be relied upon by anyone. It is highly recommended that the reader seek the opinion of a qualified attorney in his or her area for consultation and assistance. There are applicable statute of limitations and other considerations that only a qualified attorney can provide guidance on after being fully informed as to all of the circumstance of your particular case.

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James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick


Excellent answer. Well stated and informative.


The only way your child would be entitled to receive a life insurance settlement is if he were to be named as the beneficiary on the policy. If your "friend" cancels the policy or stops paying the premium, there would be no life insurance. The only way you can guarantee that there would be life insurance for your child is if you were to own the policy and the policy insured your friend's life.

There are many reasons why not naming this man as the father may be detrimental to your child, as it will directly impact your child's right of inheritance. Please reconsider.

E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.

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To add to what my colleagues have said, by not including the father's name on the birth certificate now, means that the only way to establish parentage in the future would be through litigation. Including him now is only an identifier. It doesn't hold him financially responsible unless you pursue that result.

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I agree with all my colleagues, and to put it bluntly, you should strongly reconsider your current intention. It is well worth the time to consult with a family law and / or estate planning attorney as the failure to establish parentage through the simple means of naming him on the birth certificate may have far reaching consequences such as impacting your child's ability to inherit under his father's estate. I wish you all the best.

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First, you should absolutely put the father's name on the birth certificate. Actually, there is no benefit in not doing so. If you do want child support from the father then do not pursue child support. It really is that simple.

Second, as mentioned earlier by my colleagues, the father can name anyone he wants as beneficiary on a life insurance policy, including you, his child, his mother, etc. It does not matter that he does not appear on the child's birth certificate. This would not preclude him from naming the child as a beneficiary.

Finally, you should also know that if you are receiving Mass Health, food stamps, cash assistance, or many other types of state aid, the Department of Revenue will go after the father for child support and to have placed upon the birth certificate. I am not sure if this applies in your situation, but you should be aware of it. Indeed, in this type of situation, regardless of your wishes, father will have to pay child support.

Good luck!

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