Items you will need
- Original death certificate
- Bank records
- Investment records
Many people are very selective when sharing financial matters with others. Even among close family members, sharing information about estate planning and life insurance is sometimes considered poor taste. Yet many siblings are named as executors for a brother or sister's estate, often even being named a beneficiary. If you are trying to locate life insurance policies for a sibling who has prematurely passed away, you should start at the sibling's home and work your way to other agencies if you can not find policies in their name.
Look around your sibling's home for any information regarding life insurance. This may be a premium statement, the policy itself or the business card for an insurance agent. Check in desk drawers, home safes and cabinets to see if you can locate a policy.
Contact your sibling's employer and any previous employers. Many companies offer life insurance as part of a benefits package with the option of continuing the insurance after you leave. This may help you locate any policies in effect.
Ask your sibling's bank whether she maintained a safe deposit box. You will need to show a death certificate and some proof that you are entitled to act on behalf of the account, such as a trust document or probate court executor document.
Call financial advisers and tax preparers who managed your sibling's assets. They may be aware of referrals given to life insurance agents or have files documenting insurance policies. You will need a death certificate and documentation naming you as executor in this instance as well.
Write to the American Council of Life Insurers and send an original death certificate. Provide as much information as possible such as known residence, employment records and other insurers. The council sends an inquiry to the major insurance companies. Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelop to get the information sent back to you. The address for the American Council of Life Insurers is 1001 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington DC, 20004-2599.
Check with your state's unclaimed property division to see if there are any assets under your sibling's name that haven't been claimed or distributed. Go to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators for your state contact information at www.unclaimed.org.