How can I collect payment on my deceased mother’s life insurance policy?

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2011

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How can I collect payment on my deceased mother’s life insurance policy?

My mother had a long term disability policy. The insurance company said that the surviving children had to be unmarried and under the age of 25. The insurance company also said something about setting up an estate for my mother and an SS-4 form, in order to collect any benefits of the claim. What is an SS-4 form and how can I obtain one? Also, how can I set up an estate for my mother to collect the money?

Asked on March 13, 2011 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The document that you are referring to is not your standard life insurance policy and life insurance benefit.  There would be no such limitations on a standard policy although if the children were minors under the law I could see the company requiring that a trust account be set up for them.  As for the required documents, the policy holder should be able to send them to you (the SS-4) or an accountant may be able to help.  As for setting up an estate, I would suggest seeking help with that, as all the assets need to be included.  Generally you file a Petition for either the Probate or Administration of your Mother's estate, depending on if she had a Will.  But really if the policy has a designated beneficiary it would not go through probate.  Please let someone who knows about these things look at it for you.  Good luck.

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