How to Name a Grandchild as a Joint Annuitant

Naming a grandchild as a joint annuitant on an annuity is an increasingly popular way to leave a legacy behind. By naming a grandchild as a joint annuitant on a lifetime income annuity, a grandparent can literally arrange to leave the young person a holiday or birthday present every year for as long as the younger person lives. It's an insurance company's way of helping you tell your grandchild "I love you" year after year.

Step 1

Meet with a life insurance agent. Only life insurance agents can sell annuities. If you already have an annuity and you want to add your grandchild as a joint annuitant, contact your agent or carrier.

Step 2

Name your grandchild on the annuity contract application or change request form as a joint annuitant. You will need to provide the child's age and possibly gender if the insurance company uses separate mortality tables to calculate life expectancy for men and women.

Step 3

Return the filled-out contract application or change request form to your insurance agent or carrier.

Step 4

Inspect your updated or amended contract. Your insurance company will provide you with the effective contract, which should have your grandchild listed as a joint annuitant. Do not sign that you have accepted the contract unless the document correctly names your intended co-annuitant.


  • Some companies allow you to name a grandchild as a joint annuitant and leave a lump sum of up to 50 percent of the original annuity amount to a great grandchild upon the grandchild's death -- hopefully many years in the future.


  • Adding a co-annuitant will lower the payout you yourself receive in retirement. The younger the co-annuitant, the larger this effect will be. This technique may not be suitable for you if you fear you may not have enough income to live on in retirement.

Photo Credits

  • grandmother and grandchild face to face image by Ramona smiers from

About the Author

Leslie McClintock has been writing professionally since 2001. She has been published in "Wealth and Retirement Planner," "Senior Market Advisor," "The Annuity Selling Guide," and many other outlets. A licensed life and health insurance agent, McClintock holds a B.A. from the University of Southern California.

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