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Your question indicates that you may know the name of the insurance company that your mother had been dealing with.  If there is information on her insurance agent, call them.  Or, call the life insurance company's customer service department and ask for information. They may require that you have authority, such as Power of Attorney (if your mother is still living) or appointment as Personal Representative of her estate.

If the insurance company has merged or gone out of business, you can find information about successor insurance companies that may have taken over the policy at:
http://www3.ambest.com/ratings/entities/search.aspx?

The Insurance Information Institute has a list of 12 steps you can take to track down life insurance policy information:
http://www.iii.org/article/how-can-i-locate-lost-life-insurance-policy

Step 12 includes a link to the insurance industry trade group that has access to search all applications for life insurance policies have been filed since 1996:

http://www.mib.com/lost_life_insurance.html

Effective Estate Planning includes organizing asset information, making it easier to manage and settle an estate.
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There is an organisation called the National Association of Insurance Commissioners which provides guidance for tracking down policies in the USA. Try their website; but if you have no policy numbers, no documents, no bank statements or other records of premium payments... you're going to have a struggle on your hands.
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She must have paid premiums to someone. If u can't find the policies go this route. Do you have POA? The insurance company may give you basic info but not who is beneficiary unless it is you. I had no problem with Moms.
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Speaking of insurance policies...Those of you who have retired family members who worked for the government this is how their life insurance may work after death. And note, I said retired. This is what I found out about my ex-husband who was a Postal employee. Upon retirement their pension and life insurance is handled by the government out of offices in PA. Ex was given a $25,000 insurance policy. There have been some problems with his half sister having his ashes buried in a timely manner. So our daughter applied to the facility explaining she was his only child but had been adopted by my present husband so my ex gave up all rights to his daughter and she to him. She just wanted to know if she was beneficiary to the insurance so she could pay to bury him. They honored her request but sent the info to the Funeral Home director who called her with the info. Seems this policy is set up that funeral arrangements have to be paid for before beneficiary can receive the balance of the money. No, my daughter wasn't beneficiary, he made his Dad beneficiary who died a few years back. So now the half sister is going to need to prove its her father before they release the money.
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If you have enough of your mothers information, such as her social security number and the name of the insurance company and the policy number - you out to be able to go to the insurance company web site and find out the information you're looking for.
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Can you locate the insurance company online? If so, they should be able to help you if you give her name. I talked to my mother's insurance companies while she was still living and had flipped out about a piece of mail she had received from said company. It was nothing...I resolved it in a minute or two.
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Are you in control of her finances? If yes, try to talk with her about what she feels she needs to be paying on. If she doesn't want or refuses to talk, and working through the other suggested organizations doesn't help, try talking with your own insurance agent and ask what you can do legally to obtain information. I know as a nurse working with the geriatric population they don't think in the same reasonable steps as they did when younger. They may have been sold on a policy when in fact your mother doesn't need it. Or she may have taken a policy out to address a fear a friend talked about. Being a sleuth on our parents business can be tough. Hang tough and keep us posted.
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When I was made POA for a married couple friends of mine, I got put on their checking account as a "signee" and began to monitor their spending on-line, noting what they were writing checks for. Then I started going through their piles of paper and finding both paid and unpaid bills. They did have files, too, but no longer were keeping them up and that is where I found things like insurance papers. Their financial records made reference to long term care insurance policies and their id numbers and once I had those, I could begin to make progress getting involved with them, once I proved to them I was their POA. If you are a POA, it is a good idea to get several "originals" to start with because some institutions want to see/have an original copy proving you are. You don't have to be a POA to snoop through her papers, but if there aren't any to go through, her bank statements are a good starting place--looking a the personal check copies
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So, just asking her straightforward is out of the question? Why do you want/need to know? Just out of curiosity or is it info you have to have.
As hubby and I age, I find our kids are a little more concerned about this kind of thing. Frankly, at ages 60 & 65 ( and still taking care of our own aging moms!!) this isn't any of their business. I'm just wondering why she won't just tell you.
Our insurance "guy" is our son's best friend. Son happened to "ask" casually just about our solvency and retirement acct and this guy wouldn't tell our son a thing.
After daddy died, Mother told all of us where her papers are kept, keeps the executor son in the loop and he shares with us if we ask. All we are worried about is that she has enough to keep her in Long Term care if we need to.
Only if your mom is incapable of making decisions--and if you aren't POA, you might find yourself hitting a lot of brick walls. Just my opinion.
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Um. I'd sort of guessed that the OP's mother had passed away - which would make asking her pretty much out of the question. I'd be delighted to have been wrong, of course. Anyway, the OP hasn't come back so let's hope she got it sorted out.
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