Life Insurance and Finances
Wappner Funeral Directors staff will assist you in filing a claim and assignment of proceeds. Also, all insurance companies have a claims department that will assist you with any questions regarding your claim as well. This process involves completing a claim form, submitting it with a certified copy of the Death Certificate and an insurance proceeds assignment form.
This is a good time to evaluate and/or make changes to your own insurance policies-especially verifying those you have designated as beneficiaries on your policies.
Life Insurance - Locate and carefully inventory all insurance policies:
- Employer-paid policies
- Personally-paid policies
- Policies included as a benefit of credit card membership
- Union-paid policies
- Professional organization-paid policies
Retirement Benefits - Apply for benefits with the deceased’s retirement fund sources. They may require a certified copy of the Death Certificate.
Employer Benefits - Please contact the deceased's employer to determine if there are any benefits payable to survivors.
Banks and Credit Unions - It will be necessary to notify any bank(s) and/or credit union(s) where the deceased had an account and/or their name was on a joint account. A certified copy of the Death Certificate may be required to terminate an account and/or remove the deceased’s name from a joint account.
Loans/Credit Cards - Provide written notification of death to all credit and loan issuers. Have any joint cards transferred to the survivor’s name. Check to see if accounts include credit life insurance, which pays off outstanding balances in the event of a customer’s death. If so, file the appropriate claim for benefits, along with a copy of the Death Certificate. Check with the individual creditor to see if a certified copy of the Death Certificate is needed.
Stocks/Bonds - To transfer any stocks or bonds, a certified copy of the Death Certificate must be presented. Contact the portfolio manager to alert them to the need for ownership transfer and/or sale transaction. They will lead you through the required steps.
Automobile Title - If the deceased’s name appeared on an automobile title, either independently or jointly, you will need to visit the your local bureau of motor vehicles to transfer the title to the appropriate person’s name. A certified copy of the Death Certificate may be required.
Register of Deeds - If the deceased’s name appeared on any real estate, you will need to contact your family attorney to begin the process of having the deceased’s name removed from the deed. A certified copy of the Death Certificate will be necessary.
Important Note - As you inspect the above business issues, be sure to inquire if the deceased was listed as the beneficiary/policy owner on any other insurance policies, retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, etc. To avoid future legal/probate complications, have the deceased’s name removed/replaced from any financial/property holdings.