If a relative died and left you money via a life insurance policy, you would have received the money by now, right?
Well, not necessarily. Currently the state of California is holding onto $365 million dollars’ worth of life insurance payouts that were never distributed to the rightful beneficiaries. How could this possibly happen?
The primary reason is that the beneficiaries simply didn’t know about the life insurance policy, and upon their death, beneficiaries believe they have claimed all of the payouts due to them. But somehow, an entire policy is missed.
Other times, the beneficiary dies before the policy holder. Therefore, there is no one to claim the death benefits when the time comes. However, it is possible that if you are the direct descendant of a beneficiary who has died without claiming their payout, you could be entitled to this money.
There are other situations in which this problem can arise. But the bottom line is that you might not know about an inheritance unless you look for it!
If you’re curious, you can visit the state’s Unclaimed Property page, and conduct a search of your own. Enter your name, as well as the names of your parents or spouse, if they have passed away. You could be one of the 32.5 million people who have yet to claim their money.
Of course, we have a moral for this story: If you own a life insurance policy, make sure to update your beneficiaries regularly. If they pass away before you do, your life insurance payout could end up as unclaimed property. Also notify your beneficiaries of the number of life insurance policies you hold, and keep records of all policies in one convenient location.