Life Assurance Policies & Probate
We all know that insurance companies do not like paying out money. Even with straightforward life policies it is important to make sure the paperwork is in order and retained in a safe place. Has a life policy been written on trust? This can be important for the executors and beneficiaries. The proceeds of a policy written on trust will not form part of the deceased’s estate and can result in substantial inheritance tax savings.
A fortunate executor will find that the declaration of trust has been correctly completed, dated and signed, and that notice of the transaction has been given to the insurance company, and that there is written acknowledgment from the company that the trust has been registered. Defective or non-existent paperwork can lead to the failure of carefully laid plans.
Even where no trust is involved, insurance companies can have different approaches to dealing with claims. Some will pay out on production of the death certificate others will require a grant of probate or letters of administration to be produced. If there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death the claim will be investigated very carefully.