Life insurance is going to be a part of many estate plans. In fact, a lot of people get their first exposure to estate planning when they are introduced to their benefits program when they start their first “real job.” Employers will often offer life insurance as part of a benefits package. The employer generally pays for a base amount, and the employee has the option of purchasing increased coverage.
When you are married, especially if you have children, life insurance is a very valuable and important vehicle of income replacement, and it should indeed be a part of your estate plan. It can also be useful throughout your life as you arrange for your loved ones to receive inheritances.
As useful as it may be, life insurance isn’t going to do anyone much good if the beneficiary does not know that he or she has something coming. If you were to play your cards close to the vest as they say and keep quiet about your life insurance policies, it is possible that they could go unclaimed.
In fact, a very large amount of money sits unclaimed at this very moment. Consumer Reports magazine tells us that there are at least $1 billion worth of unclaimed insurance policies out there.
When you are planning your estate, you should keep this in mind. Make sure that the people with a “need to know” are aware of any policies that you may have so that the beneficiaries can take full advantage of what is coming to them.