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My husband recently passed away. How can I find out if he had a life insurance policy?

Last Updated: 07/30/2012 11:31 AM

When your spouse dies, it can be difficult to deal with the loss, and things are even more compounded by the financial concerns that follow in the wake of their death. Unless your spouse told you of a life insurance policy that was in effect, trying to locate the company they had the policy with can be a challenge. Here are some suggestions for finding out whether a deceased spouse left a life insurance policy behind.

If there was an insurance policy, documentation should be located in some safe and convenient location. If your spouse had a safe deposit box, that might be the best place to find important documents such as life insurance policies, deeds, or stocks. The same could be true of a safe kept in the home or at the office. If your spouse dealt with a specific law firm on a regular basis, contact them and ask about the possibility of a policy. It could be that they were instrumental in helping your spouse set the policy up, and may know exactly which company it was issued through.

Most life insurance policies have regular premiums to be paid, and a paper trail should lead to the name of the company the policy was underwritten by. Look through checkbooks, banking statements and stored receipts. Credit card receipts are also possible, and if the policy was paid in full there may be regular statements, such as dividend or performance notices issued on permanent life insurance accounts.

Unless the policy was paid in full, the insurance company will issue a late statement after one or two premiums have been missed. In many cases, this is how the insurance company actually determines that a policy has come due for settlement. To find a policy in this way will take patience, as it may be a while before the lack of premiums payments comes to the notice of the underwriting company.

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