Q. I found two old government-held life insurance accounts for my grandfather who died in 1977. Apparently the funds were never disbursed because the address was misspelled, the accounts were therefore were considered unclaimed. None of her children, including my mother, are alive today. There are six other adult grandchildren besides me. How is this money obtained and how is it disbursed?
A. It must have been a surprising discovery.
Insurance claims can be done at any time, even years after the policyholder’s death, said Regina Spielberg, estate planning lawyer at Schenck, Price, Smith & King in Florham Park.
You should start by contacting the life insurance company that issued the policy, she said.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a website to help people find insurance policies, she said.
Even though the policy proceeds have returned to the State of New Jersey, you can still claim it through the Administration of unclaimed property.
“The distribution of the life insurance product is governed by the contract of the life insurance policy,” Speilberg said, so you will need to know more about the specific policy.
Email your questions to [email protected].
Karin Price Mueller writes on Bamboo column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for NJMoneyHelp.com‘s weekly electronic newsletter.