Life insurance: how to get a deceased relative’s money back?

Life insurance is a financial investment that facilitates the transfer of assets to beneficiaries. Following the death of a loved one, even though the steps of claiming the life insurance sum are relatively simple, they can be time-consuming. Collecting the money from a life insurance policy is a daunting formality for the beneficiary, who should take precautions to prevent mistakes that could lead to setbacks.

Contacting the life insurance company

To recover the money from a life insurance policy, the beneficiary should first contact the insurance company or bank that issued it and inform them that the policyholder has died. The institution concerned will then request the necessary proof, namely a death certificate or a deed of notoriety, a bank statement, and a document attesting to the identity of the beneficiary (the beneficiary clause in the contract stipulates the proof to be provided). If the deceased is a relative, he or she may have left a document attesting to the existence of the life insurance contract or a duplicate of it which can be presented directly to the institution. If there are several beneficiaries, they can group the shipments to submit them to the institution only once. Moreover, the recovery of a life insurance policy does not require the intervention of a professional, as the procedure only requires the submission of proof.

Obtaining insurance before and after the age of 70

To recover money from a life insurance policy containing payments made before the age of 70, the insurer will indicate the amounts paid before this period on which the tax will be calculated. The tax receipt will then be issued to the beneficiary and must be taken to the insurance company or the bank. The bank will pass on the tax itself and deduct the tax on the capital before making the transfer. For life insurance after the age of 70, the procedure for closing the life insurance policy is unchanged, but life insurance sums above a certain amount are subject to an inheritance tax scale. The beneficiary must therefore obtain a certificate of inheritance and send the tax receipt to a notary, or risk being subject to a tax adjustment.

Unlocking a life insurance policy

In cases where the beneficiaries are unaware of the life insurance contract’s existence or do not know that they are beneficiaries, they can contact the Risk Information Management in Insurance Association, which will search the life insurance beneficiaries. Once a request is made, this organisation will contact insurance companies, mutual insurance companies and banks to check whether the deceased had taken out a life insurance policy. Beneficiaries who have not received the money from a life insurance policy can also contact special institutions to have the amount returned to them unless the death occurred more than 30 years ago.

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