If I died, what needs to be in place to ensure insurance pays out ASAP

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If I died, what needs to be in place to ensure insurance pays out ASAP

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AaiieeeeAaiieeee Forumite
20 posts
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Slightly morbid practical planning quesiton here
I want to ensure there is minimum amount of time between me exiring and my wife receiving insurance money so as to give peace of mind and reduce any uneeded financial stress if the worst happens.  What can I do in my situation to speed up the process and reduce time to payout and other issues.?  A couple of facts about my situation are below:
  • We are married
  • I am divorced (1 ex wife)
  • I have no children, nor does my wife.  We have no dependants
  • I have no will (on the basis everything will go to my wife, and if she dies then I'm not too bothered beyond that)
  • I have a mortgage in my name only
  • We have joint life insurance the sum of which will cover the mortgage + a couple of years basic living expenses
  • The insurance isn't written in trust
  • I have a death-in-service work benifit (of similar value to life insurance)
  • I have a SIPP pension
  • I have an ISA with Vanguard funds
  • My total net worth if all sold and debts paid is in the ballpark of £200,000 (75% house, 25% savings/SIPP)
The aim here is to ensure my wife is finacially stable for a few yeras whilst she figures her situation out and I dont want her to worry about missing mortgage payments before insurance gets paid out etc. She is not currently working as she is studying and I would like for her not to be forced to get a job whilst grieving
Any thoughts are greatefully recieved.


  • FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
    1.8K posts
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    re your concern about the mortgage, the key would be contacting the mortgage company to inform them - they all have bereavement teams and  if they know that there are insurance payments in the offing then should suspend payments until the insurance pays out. If the mortgage is in your name only then only your estate is liable for it not your wife
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    Apologies but have you been told you are terminally ill or have a life limiting illness?. I'm just wondering why you believe you will die before your wife? Even if there's a large age gap between you it doesn't necessarily mean you will go first.Hope I'm not questioning something sensitive but this information might be relevant to any replies you recieve.
  • MEM62MEM62 Forumite
    3K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    Payout on the insurance will depend of the circumstances of your demise.  If straightforward there should be no undue delays.  To be honest, I think you are stressing over a situation when you do not need to.  However, if it concerns you that much, give her online access to your ISA.  That can tide her over in the event of any delays. 
  • AaiieeeeAaiieeee Forumite
    20 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Spendless - I'm not expecting to die any time soon, nothings wrong etc, I'm just trying to manage it.  My parents didn't 'believe' in insurace mostlly because my mothers parents were very religious.  My dad subsequently died and really my mums life would have been a lot easier if they had insurance.
    MEM62 - thats a very fair comment, I may well be overthinking this.
  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
    3.3K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary
    The joint life policy should pay out very quickly. You wife will just have to contact the insurance company and provide the death certificate. It would be better to write your Death-in-Service benefit into Trust. Work should have a form (paper or online) you can fill out to name your wife as your beneficiary if you have not already done so. Apart from that, the next best thing you can do is make a list of all your assets including life insurance policies along with the name of the company, contact details and policy numbers. 

    Another thing to think about is car insurance. If you own a car and your wife is a named driver on the policy, make sure she knows that she need to arrange her own insurance asap should you die. You can put your car insurance policy number and the name of the insurer on the list I referred to above and make this the first thing she deals with. She won't want to have to deal with a fine for not having the car insured. 

    She will need some cash for this, so having a joint current account and making sure there is always a couple of thousand pounds in there will ensure she had some cash immediately. If she has some savings of her own, then this won't be necessary.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • LilElvisLilElvis Forumite
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    Whilst you don't feel that you would benefit from having a will you might want to consider setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney which would make sorting out things like finances, insurance and bills much easier in the event that either of you become incapacitated. Applying for such powers after the event is both far more costly and a fairly lengthy process. Why not also put some of the savings in your wife's name so that you both have access to money at short notice? 
  • CRANKY40CRANKY40 Forumite
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    My husband died 11 years ago, without a will. Most things were really straightforward. The mortgage company were contacted and suspended payments until I received the insurance money. The insurance company wanted the death certificate and paid out soon after I sent it to them. Civil sevice pensions sent a person out to me. The person checked my birth certificate, my son's birth certificate (minors also receive a pension until the end of their education) my marriage certificate and my husband's death certificate.That visit led to pensions and death in service benefit being paid. 

    I applied for a grant of administration due to no will. That was also easy enough. When I received the insurance money I made an appointment with Barclays and settled the mortgage. The only bad thing was Barclays sending a letter out after I'd paid their calculation of what was owed. The letter informed "Mr Deceased" that he owed £0.01 on the mortgage. I did complain and when I contacted them weeks later to say I'd had no answer to my complaint they assured me I'd had a reply and flowers. When I asked the person on the phone to double check she confirmed that neither the flowers or an apology had actually been sent and they never were. Barclays were the only thing that went wrong in the whole process and that was more upsetting than inconvenient. Every other company that I dealt with were faultless. 

    I didn't transfer the house into my name at all. When I sold it 3 years later I provided the grant of administration papaerwork to the solicitor and it was all dealt with as part of the house sale. Again, very straightforward. 
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    The fact that the insurance policy is not written in trust is going to put significant delays on it being paid out. The insurance company are probably going to require probate before any payment is made.

    I think you are  foolish not to make a will. Even if you don’t care what happens to your estate if she dies first, what about hers? If, as is likely, she wants her estate to go to specific beneficiaries if you die first then they will get nothing should she and you die at the same time or you die shortly after her, as it will all go to some random relative or the government.
  • gettingtheresometimegettingtheresometime Forumite
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    Just a thought but in addition to life insurance why not build up an emergency fund equivalent of 4 months income in instant access account in both your names so whilst the insurance payouts are being dealt with, she has access to funds?
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card / JD Williams cleared :) thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge
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