Expensive Penny,

My mom died after a number of years with Alzheimer’s within the Philippines. Whereas she was dwelling in Maryland, a cousin took an insurance coverage coverage on her. She agreed understanding that she would solely pay $50 a month and the remaining will likely be shouldered by her niece. 

Now my cousin is asking for 4 loss of life certificates and desires me to fill out varieties as a result of, in line with her, I’m the beneficiary. If she is the proprietor of the coverage, what does it need to do with me? I requested for a duplicate of the coverage as a result of I do not know what she is attempting to do. Please assist.

-Confused Daughter

Expensive Confused,

Belief your intestine. Don’t give your cousin your mom’s loss of life certificates or any private info she asks for.

There are a number of issues that sound sketchy right here. The most important crimson flag is that your cousin owned a life insurance coverage coverage in your mother. You’ll be able to’t simply take out an insurance coverage coverage on anybody. Simply think about how rife for abuse the system can be if we might all make bets on each other’s lives.


To personal a life insurance coverage coverage on another person, it is advisable have an insurable curiosity of their lives, which means you’d endure a monetary loss within the occasion of their loss of life. It’s sometimes assumed that you’ve got an insurable curiosity within the lifetime of your partner or your baby. You’ll be able to even have an insurable curiosity within the lifetime of your ex-spouse in the event that they’ve been ordered to pay you alimony or baby help. However it’s unlikely that a niece would have an insurable curiosity within the lifetime of her aunt, except there have been uncommon circumstances — like they had been enterprise companions or your cousin had co-signed a loan in your mother.

You additionally want the particular person’s consent to take out insurance coverage on their life. I’ve to surprise: Did your mom totally perceive what she was signing? Or if you happen to solely not too long ago found this coverage, is it doable that your cousin might have cast her signature? It’s additionally odd that your mom was making partial funds in case your cousin owned the coverage.

It’s fairly implausible that your cousin would have purchased life insurance coverage in your mother out of the goodness of her coronary heart. A extra sensible rationalization can be that she plans to pocket most, if not all, of the proceeds.

You’ll be able to proceed to press your cousin for a duplicate of the coverage. However don’t be stunned if you happen to’re met with a flurry of excuses and convoluted explanations. Even when your cousin does give you the doc, I wouldn’t assume it’s reputable. Contact the insurance coverage firm on to confirm the coverage. You’ll be able to present the loss of life certificates to the insurer instantly if it’s legit. The corporate can ship you any mandatory varieties.

In case your cousin received’t cooperate, you’ll be able to search the Nationwide Affiliation of Insurance coverage Commissioners on-line life insurance policy locator. The group will ask collaborating corporations to seek for insurance policies in your mom’s title. In the event that they find a coverage and also you’re the beneficiary, they’ll give you the small print. Your cousin doesn’t must be concerned. Even if you happen to’re not a beneficiary, you’d most likely be licensed to obtain this info as your mom’s subsequent of kin.

In case you consider your cousin had nefarious intentions, think about contacting your state insurance coverage commissioner. Some individuals are hesitant to report relations to authorities. However if you happen to suspect your cousin scammed your mom, she might simply do the identical to others. Aged individuals are particularly susceptible to being conned by folks they belief, like relations. On the very least, it is best to warn different relations if you happen to assume that’s what occurred.

Your cousin most likely acquired figuring out details about your mom, like her Social Safety quantity, when she obtained the coverage. Sadly, deceased individuals are vulnerable to having fraudulent accounts opened of their names. A wise transfer can be to contact every of the three credit score bureaus to allow them to know that your mom has died.

I’m sorry that it’s a must to cope with all this on prime of the lack of your mom. However you could have each proper to be suspicious right here. Don’t let anybody, particularly your cousin, inform you in any other case.

Robin Hartilll is a licensed monetary planner and a senior author at The Penny Hoarder. Ship your difficult cash inquiries to [email protected].




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On Behalf, Urllure P.L.

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