Sunday, January 15, 2006

life insurance: locating policies of deceased persons

Most experts feel that older people have lesser need for life insurance than younger people. Life insurance is important to midlife breadwinners who need to provide for their families if they die suddenly. But older people, whose children have left home and are independent, do not need high coverage. The older person should carry only enough life insurance to provide for their spouse, payoff their mortgage and other debts, pay federal estate and state inheritance taxes, and provide for burial costs and the costs of administering their estate.
When trying to locate the life insurance policy of a deceased person, check the deceased's personal papers. Look for canceled checks, premium or dividend notices, or other correspondence to or from an insurance company.
If any of the individual's friends are insurance agents check with them. Also, check with former employers, both for any company insurance and for a possible allotment from wages to an insurance company for the payment of premiums.
If you cannot uncover anything, write to the American Council of Life Insurance at the address below. Tell them that you are trying to track down a life insurance policy and they will send you a form to complete. They will circulate the form free of charge to most of the major insurance companies.
For more information write or call:
American Council of Life Insurance Information Services
1850 K St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 624-2000
Avery, A. C. Successful Aging. New York: Ballantine Books, 1987.

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