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The insurance Information Institute has a dozen tips on how to find out if the decedent had life insurance at:How can I locate a lost life insurance policy?

http://www.iii.org/article/how-can-i-locate-lost-life-insurance-policy

At the top of the list searching through the decedent's paper to see if there are any insurance-related documents. Clues could be found in address books or with an agent or company who sold the deceased their auto or home insurance. The may know about the existence of a life insurance policy.

As you search, you may find other assets , or learn more about the estate.
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I believe every state requires unclaimed funds be turned over to a kind of escrow account -- Illinois has such a searchable database on line. See if your state has one. Call your state treasurer's office and find out. You might also call your state's insurance commission. Every state has one. They'd probably be able to help you as well.
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Heather, I'm not sure that there is any way to do that UNLESS you still have all her paperwork and anything that was in lockboxes or safes. Why is this question just now coming up? In the past 7 years, has no one thought of this?

If you suspect that there was a policy, you might contact some of the larger insurance companies and ask them how to inquire? They will require some identification and possibly a death certificate.

If she worked, she may have had a policy through her employer. I will say that most insurance policies that people buy are term, because the older you get, the higher the premiums.

Good Luck! Just another reason for all of us to be more organized with our important paperwork.
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Maggie, I am aware of the unclaimed funds, they print a huge list in our paper every year and are online. However, how would the insurance company know that the funds are unclaimed unless they know about the person's death?

I'm still amazed that if they haven't found anything since 2008, that they'll be able to find anything now.
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I can't answer your question, my friend. But I sure do second the answer by one of our site experts above . . . And would ALSO suggest you look thru your mom's check books for premium payments. I wish you much success.

And -- hopefully other people reading your question now understand the importance of keeping current and accurate records.
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I was wondering if anybody knew how to find out if my mom had any papers or information before she passed away
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It might be more helpful, if you put more details about the situation and what you are searching for and start your own thread. Since this one is pretty old, it might get overlooked.
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I second the motion to start a new thread. In it, you might say how long it's been since she passed, whether she was living in her own home or with someone else. Has her home been cleared out. We'll be happy to brainstorm with you, but we need a little more to go on.
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Well before my mom passed away she had a lot of information and papers before she died and I was wondering if she still had it all but I don't know because I never knew she had all this until I talked to my dad and he said she had a lot of bills and other papers but I don't know where it all went
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candacepoitras, scroll up to the answer given by John L. Roberts who is an Elder Law Attorney.... his post had very helpful answers on how to look for such information.
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