Going beyond the policy
As a life insurance policy beneficiary, you may not know what comes next. Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance is here to help with resources and tools to guide you through the process and provide the support you need.
When a loved one passes away, seek legal advice from a lawyer so that you can sort out matters, including:
Federal, state, and local governments may offer benefits to spouses of civil service employees or retirees. In addition, dependent children may also be entitled to certain civil service benefits.
If you and your deceased loved one hold a joint bank account, it is important to contact the bank as soon as possible, especially if you have written any checks or have automatic payments that have not yet cleared the account. The bank must also have the account cleared by the state tax authorities.
Many installment loans, contracts, and credit card accounts are covered by credit life insurance, which pays off the account balance in the event of the death of a customer. Contact the companies with which the deceased held accounts and ask if the account has credit insurance.
Individual states may impose either an inheritance tax or an estate tax, and the rates and exemptions vary from state to state. Calculate and file your state inheritance tax before the federal estate tax because the amount you pay to the state can be calculated against the federal tax.
Keep in mind that people can have more than one life insurance policy. Because of this, you will need to locate the deceased’s life insurance policies and contact the insurance company to inquire about the policy(s) status as soon as possible. The company will need a death certificate, a completed claim and the actual life insurance policy if available.
If the deceased was covered, you might be eligible for a small lump-sum death survivor benefit. Social Security does not pay benefits automatically; you must apply for them. You should notify the Social Security Administration as soon as you can by calling their toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213.
Create 10-12 copies of the official death certificate to establish claims under life insurance policies and file for Social Security and veteran’s benefits. You may also need to obtain copies of their birth certificate and other documents such as a marriage certificate.
If you are insured with us, contact your Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance agent today to go over your insurance and retirement plans. Review your policies and find out if they have sufficient coverage for you and your family. In addition, ask your agent about the living benefits of life insurance and learn more about how you can utilize your life insurance policy while you are alive.
Find and secure all of the deceased’s important documents, including:
A trust is a legal agreement where a trust creator gives property to a trustee to invest and manage for the advantage of a beneficiary. It is a highly flexible device that enables you to have a say in the use of your money after your death and during your lifetime.
If the deceased was a veteran and the death was service connected, you and your family may qualify for special Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Benefits. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) bases payments on the rank of the deceased. The VA payments do not prevent you from receiving Social Security benefits.
If the deceased was a veteran, notify the nearest VA facility of the veteran’s death. If you don’t know the location of your local center, you can obtain their address and phone number by calling 1-800-827-1000 or visit www.va.gov/contact-us.