Insurance companies can be a persistent obstacle in matters pertaining to both estate planning and probate. The state requirements for vehicle and homeowners insurance guarantee you’ll need to address the disposition of these insurance policies during estate planning. Otherwise after your death, those left behind will have insurance matters to contend with.
Understanding what this process requires is the key to handling insurance companies in both cases. Careful estate planning makes tasks easier for your loved ones after you’re gone, leaving them with less decisions to make and hurdles to overcome during such a difficult and painful time.
For those whose loved ones do not leave a thorough estate plan, knowledge of how to communicate with insurance companies can help you to successfully navigate the process. These tips can help you deal with insurance companies while planning your estate or taking care of the estate of a deceased loved one:
When Planning Your Estate
Your estate planning documents should all be assembled in the same folder and should include a comprehensive list of all your insurance policies, the companies the policies are under, and the policy numbers. Also included here should be the logins for all online insurance accounts, as well any passwords, PIN numbers and security answers.
Include Your Life Insurance
Your life insurance benefits are considered a tremendous asset in estate planning. You might want to confirm that your chosen life insurance plan covers your estate taxes so your heirs don’t have to. Also worth consideration is to select an insurance policy which allows your executor or trustees flexibility while still adhering to your wishes.
When having to deal with the insurance company of a deceased loved one, it’s best to gather all your information together and be prepared prior to making the initial call.
Have all of your documents in order before contacting the insurance company. Have the policy numbers and information ready, as well as the account holder’s Social Security number, PIN numbers, passwords, recent address and other identifying information.
Within the first week of a loved one’s passing, contact the life insurance company. Have the deceased’s information ready and available. Request any claim forms or information you might need. Write down any information you’re given so you can refer to it later. It’s advisable to record the dates and times of any phone calls, as well as the name of the person(s) you spoke to in the event it might be helpful later.
In addition to being a courtesy, notifying the employer of your loved one’s passing can sometimes be beneficial. Some places of employment provide additional insurance policies to employees that you may not have, but will need, information about.
Home and Auto Insurance
If the deceased has home and/or auto insurance, contact the insurance companies within two weeks to a month of your loved one’s passing. Car insurance policies need to be canceled unless another person shares them. If a vehicle is left behind and is remaining in the family, a new policy needs to be issued. If the vehicle is being sold, this should occur as quickly as possible due to insurance concerns. Homeowner’s insurance policies need to be updated depending on the final disposition of the home insured.
Whether talking about your own, or that of someone you love, the end of life is hard. You don’t want to make anything harder on those you leave behind than it already has to be, and you want to be sure that your belongings are distributed as you desire.
Estate planning with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can save your loved ones confusion and frustration during one of the most difficult times of their lives. Ensure your final wishes are handled swiftly and efficiently. With two convenient locations to serve you, Foley Law Offices, PLLC, are just a short drive from anywhere in Southeastern Michigan and the Metro Detroit area. Decades of experience make the qualified professional attorneys at Foley Law Offices the premier choice in getting your affairs in order today, before you’re out of tomorrows.