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If you can’t find the life insurance policy of a deceased relative, here’s your biggest problem: There’s no central, national database of life insurance policies. So if you’re hunting for a policy — and have had no luck finding the policy itself in any drawer or pile of papers — here are ways to find it.

What good is life insurance if the beneficiaries don’t know about it or aren’t able to find the policy after the policy holder passes? When the beneficiaries do not know the company that wrote the policy, they need to track down the necessary information so they can contact the company and have the policy paid out.

Often, this is a task that falls to the executor of the estate.

Recently, Nerd Wallet published a list of helpful tips to conduct this task in an article titled “How to Find a Lost Life Insurance Policy.”

The list includes:

  • Check if your state has a central database – 10 states have life insurance policies registered in a central database that can be searched.
  • Check the deceased’s mail – Look for correspondence from insurance companies.
  • Look for payments – Check the deceased’s bank account statements and credit card statements for payments to insurance companies.
  • Contact Employers – Ask employers if a life insurance policy was provided through work.
  • Check with banks – An executor can inquire if the deceased had safety deposit boxes. If so, check the boxes for life insurance policies.
  • Check the MIB Group – Since 1995, the MIB group has maintained a registry of people who have applied for life insurance policies. While that does not mean that any policies were purchased, it is a good place to start looking.

Reference: Nerd Wallet (March 31, 2015) “How to Find a Lost Life Insurance Policy.”

For more information on life insurance and estate administration, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.