Tuesday, August 20, 2013


In other unrelated bank business, the other day I went to set up an appointment to deal with my (now dead) father's accounts, which someone needs to be able to get to to pay off things like the remaining nursing home bill. As I was describing the situation (pretty simple and not anything that will need to go through probate, knock on wood) the manager guy I was talking to asked if my father had life insurance.

I said no, I didn't think so.

He made a face.

I asked Why? since I thought maybe that would complicate things (though I don't see how it should, given it's nothing to do with the bank-related part of his assets). No, he said, but it pained him to see someone die without life insurance, then explained that he used to work in insurance.

I was puzzled by this.

Walking out I realized it never even occurred to me that my father would have taken out a life insurance policy. After all, what is life insurance? It's something you pay money for that will only benefit your family. You know, people that aren't you. Or in my father's case, not him. Why on Earth would he ever spend money on something like that?


Gladys said...

Yeah, my father didn't have life insurance either, for the same reasons.

But you can bet your ass he had a policy on my mother. Naturally.

Anonymous said...

If I were you two, I would check all of his charge card accounts and credit union or bank accounts to make sure that none of them had "free" life insurance associated with them. Sometimes these accounts provide a minimal amount of life insurance ($1K to $2K) as a free benefit. This is especially true of credit unions. You might find that you and your sister or your mom is entitled to a small amount of money. Please do check ~ nothing ventured, nothing gained. I wish you well.

Elaine in Ark said...

Anonymous is right. My dad has been dead for more than 15 years, and last year I was notified of a couple of old policies he had taken out. My sibs and I each got around $600.

TC said...

If your father worked for a large company at any point there may also be insurance from them, too. This happened to my FIL, unknown to him his company had taken out a policy on him likely when he started with the company and it paid out even though he was retired. It just takes a few phone calls to the places he worked and banked and may pay off.

TC said...

For my deceased MIL, a long-ago job led to an annuity that paid her husband when she died. No one knew about it until the executor stumbled across some forgotten paperwork. MIL was hoarder-ish due to untreated bipolar disorder, so it was a miracle anything helpful was found. Who knows what the executor might have missed? I hope you have better luck.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and don't forget to look up your father's name in any state where he lived. You never know: he might have a little money lying around in an orphaned account. My brother got several hundred dollars from our local electrical co-op after he moved, but they didn't know how to reach him, so he didn't know. I looked him up, found the money, and notified him.

Go to the state's own website to do this--most states have a free service of this type. Don't pay money to businesses that promise to find the money for you.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the days when I worked for a financial planner. One of his clients was divorcing her abusive husband, also a client. He was a loser as well as an abuser; after she stopped making payments on his numerous outdoor toys, he refused to work for an entire summer, went off and sulked in the woods instead, and then complained when his toys got repossessed--that kind of thing. Anyway, the court ordered him to get a life insurance policy with her as the beneficiary. He was young and healthy, so life insurance was cheap. But he smugly proclaimed that he had been ordered to get one, but not keep it, so he was going to let it lapse, neener neener.

The policy was designed to give him tax-free retirement income should he live to old age.

Some people really do cut off their noses to spite their faces.

Anonymous said...

Oh, hey, I found it!

Unclaimed dot org (NOT dot com) will connect you to the state unclaimed property offices of your choice. Also check out treasuryhunt dot gov in case you should be looking for savings bonds under the film canisters full of screws behind the box of cracked floor tiles beneath the 75th half-stripped engine in the second garage.