When a loved one passes away, we’re often left with the task of sorting through mail and files to locate the important papers. But what happens if you can’t find everything you’re looking for?
If you suspect that your loved one had a life insurance policy or an annuity but can’t find the documentation, you may have a difficult task ahead of you. Finding an outstanding life insurance policy isn’t simple because unlike a pension, there is no place where these policies are registered so that they can be found.
There are however, some steps you can take to increase your chances of finding information about a life insurance policy that you suspect exists.
- The first thing you’ll want to do is go through all of the paperwork of the deceased. When doing this you might actually find the policy, and if not there could be some type of correspondence concerning the policy.
- Look through the checkbook or bank account of the deceased to see if you can identify any payments that have been made to an insurance company.
- Contact the employer of the deceased to inquire about any life insurance policies they may have. A number of larger companies do provide paid life insurance for their employees.
- If the deceased belonged to any organization, you could inquire with them. An example would be AARP, the Eagles, etc. Often these organizations provide special pricing and programs for their members that include discounted life insurance.
- Contact the deceased’s insurance agency. Most people prefer to have all their policies in one place, so it’s quite possible that the agency who writes their homeowner coverage is the same agency that carries their life insurance.
- If you do have an idea of which insurance company the deceased was going through, you can write the company with as much information as possible and ask about any policies the person might have had with them.
- In case you simply cannot find any information and you still believe that the deceased had an insurance policy, you can always write some of the top insurance companies and ask them about a policy.
The most important thing to remember is that there’s generally no time limit to file your claim and until you do file, the interest continues to grow. This assumes of course, that the policy doesn’t lapse in the interim for non-payment of premium but if there’s a premium due, you should see a bill turn up sooner than later.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.
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