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When do life insurance companies pay benefits?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2023 | Probate

Life insurance is technically separate from the estate planning process because it does not pass through probate. However, virtually everyone who has a spouse or children should make getting life insurance a priority. Families throughout Butler County have been able to turn to life insurance to help them stay financially stable after the death of a loved one.

However, for the surviving family, actually getting life insurance benefits is not necessarily a quick or simple process. Each insurance company has its own policies for paying out benefits, but generally, here is the process.

Starting the claim process

After the insured person passes away, it is up to the beneficiary (or a parent or guardian if the beneficiary is a minor) to file a claim with the insurance company. You can do this online in many cases, though some companies still require the beneficiary to fill out physical paperwork. Besides the forms, you will probably have to include supporting evidence like the death certificate and a copy of the policy. If the policy is owned by a revocable or irrevocable trust, the insurance company must have a copy of the trust document.

After this, the insurance company will review the claim. Ohio law gives insurers 21 days to decide whether to honor the claim, deny it or ask for more information after receiving the paperwork. The process generally lasts about a month or two, though it can take up to a year due to various issues.

Help during a difficult time in your life

Dealing with life insurance and being the executor of your loved one’s estate is not easy. Fortunately, the executor can work with a probate attorney for compassionate and effective guidance.