What if you recently discovered some unclaimed life insurance accounts being held by the state for your grandfather, who passed away in 1977. It looks like the funds were never disbursed because the address was spelled wrong. As a result, the insurance accounts were considered unclaimed. None of his children—including your mom—is alive today, and there are a number of adult grandchildren besides you.
Is it possible to claim this money? How is it disbursed?
Nj.com’s recent article entitled “I found two old life insurance policies. How can we collect?” says that insurance claims can be made at any time, even years after the death of the policy holder.
The first step is to make contact with the life insurance company that issued the policy. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a website to help people locate insurance policies. Even if the policy proceeds reverted to the state, you can still claim it through the Unclaimed Property Administration.
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, which is a network of the National Association of State Treasurers, says that about one in 10 people have unclaimed cash or property waiting for them.
Unclaimed or “abandoned” property is defined as property or accounts within financial institutions or companies with no activity generated (or contact with the owner) as to the property for one year or a longer period. After a designated period of time—known as “the dormancy period”— with no activity or contact, the property becomes “unclaimed” and—by law—must be turned over to the state. There are billions of dollars in unclaimed property that’s held by state governments and treasuries across the country.
As far as who would get your grandfather’s insurance policy proceeds, the distribution of the life insurance proceeds are governed by the contract of the life insurance policy.
Reference: nj.com (Nov. 18, 2021) “I found two old life insurance policies. How can we collect?”