If you have listed non-relatives as your life insurance beneficiaries, who provides the death certificate?

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2020

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UPDATED: Oct 14, 2020Fact Checked

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If I have listed a charity as the sole beneficiary of my life insurance policy, whose responsibility is it to provide the certified death certificate to the insurance company if I die. The charity I have listed does not know me personally and therefor does not know that I have listed them as a beneficiary, nor are they likely to know of my death. How will the official documentation be filed so that the claim may be payed out as per my wishes.

Alternatively, if I have listed a non-relative, such as my best friend, as my beneficiary, they would not be entitled to my official death certificate, I think. They don’t have my SSN or many of the details needed for obtaining such a document. So again, how would the official requirements be submitted so that my friend may be paid?”

Asked July 11, 2017

1 Answer

When a death is reported, the family members of the deceased are the people who are given the death certificate. In such a situation, the death certificate is usually submitted by the family members. Since the family members are in possession of the document, any non-relative beneficiary you had listed must be present when the document is being handed over. In California, if you had listed non-relatives as your beneficiaries, then the non-relatives must be the ones to submit the death certificate in the presence of your family members if they want to have a share or claim your life insurance benefits.

In rare circumstances, some people may list a charity as their primary beneficiary without the knowledge of the charity organization. When the life insurance holder dies, it is usually the responsibility of those left behind to investigate and find out if you had listed anyone as your primary or contingent beneficiary. What happens in such a situation is that, the people left behind must have your full name, your social security number, and your death certificate. Your insurance companies as well as your attorney if you had one must be contacted as well. Finally, your loved ones can find out about your unclaimed properties which in this case is the life insurance claims by conducting a search with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrator. Furthermore, it is easy to locate the beneficiary since each life insurance company requires you to make regular donations to the charity selected. The amount paid must also be in record books and tax return files. By using your tax returns records and your social security number, those left behind can trace your selected charity and the insurance company used. From this point onwards, they can work with your insurance provider and share the benefits as per your wish.

In circumstances where you had enlisted your friend as your primary beneficiary, he/she can claim the benefits. To do this, your friend must first of all be in possession of your death certificate. Apart from this, he/she must have your SSN. If for instance you had partnered in a business, or you had taken a mortgage together, your friend must have the right documents to illustrate this relationship. Once they have the required information and documents, they can then go ahead and file for the benefits with the mandated insurance company. The insurance company on its part will investigate to find out any existing relationship with your friend. If everything is confirmed, your friend will be liable to receive the benefits.

Answered July 12, 2017 by doclee

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