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If a Loved One Dies with a Life Insurance Policy, You'd be Notified, Right?

Breeda O'Leary-Brassfield

Not necessarily. Life insurance policies often go unclaimed for a variety of reasons, including the company's failure to notify a potential beneficiary of a policy's existence.

Individuals purchase a life insurance policy to cover the costs of a funeral and burial and to ensure that their loved ones are financially secure in the event of their passing. Often times though, it can be hard for a beneficiary of the policy to ascertain whether a loved one had a policy, and where or how to claim the benefits.

The month of September is insurance awareness month, and here are three tips for how to locate a life insurance policy that a loved one may have owned.

First, sorting through the loved one's paperwork can often times point the way. Take a look at your loved one's mail, bank statements, cancelled checks, or recent tax returns to find clues that a policy exists and who is the holder of the policy.

Another option is Michigan's free Life Insurance Annuity Search Service, created by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services in 2016, that helps locate a loved one's life insurance policy if purchased in Michigan. With the social security number of your loved one, you can search to see if they had taken out a life insurance policy before they passed.

Finally, checking with Michigan's Unclaimed Property office can help. They specialize in being an official Lost-And-Found box. Dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, valuables from safety deposit boxes, stock certificates, and unclaimed life insurance policies can be found through them.

If you're interested in saving your family the headache of locating your assets after your death, a proper estate plan can prevent your family from having to undertake the steps described herein. Contact our Estate Planning and Probate Attorney, Breeda O'Leary-Brassfield, at (248) 912-3221 or [email protected] to schedule a consultation.

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