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How do beneficiaries locate unclaimed life insurance policies?

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Quick Answer

Individuals who believe people have left them life insurance policies should search personal records of the decedent and contact possible insurers, according to Consumer Reports. If the family member or relative died several years previously, searchers should access state unclaimed property office records.

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Full Answer

When searching personal papers of the decedent, possible life insurance beneficiaries should look for insurance company correspondence, payment checks, evidence of interest payments on tax returns and bills for premiums, reports Nolo. If the names of insurance companies come up, individuals should contact them directly, according to Bankrate. However, insurance companies only communicate with those who prove they are beneficiaries. The decedent's immediate family such as spouse, parents, siblings, children and grandchildren have the best legal standing to obtain answers from an insurance company, states Consumer Reports.

When life insurance policies remain unclaimed for more than a few years, they are turned over to state unclaimed property offices through a policy called escheatment, reports NBC News. Beneficiaries can search unclaimed property offices state by state or access a website run by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators called Missing Money, as reported by Consumer Reports. Although scammers charge high fees to locate lost life insurance policies, consumers can get help through state unclaimed property offices and Missing Money search facilities for free.

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