Even if a person has been terminally ill for several years, death can take you by surprise. An unexpected death can be the result of a car accident, a heart attack, many other reasons. In this time, you may not be able to find certain papers needed to take care of your loved one's final expenses, so a representative with the Illinois Department of Insurance advises you put together a plan ahead of time.
Dealing specifically with life insurance, you may not know where to look for the policy. Mark Terry says many people call the insurance hotline and simple ask "what do I do now?"
He says if you cannot find the paperwork you need, start by calling the insurance agent that was being used at the time of death. You can also try to track down old policy's by locating information on previous employers or old bank accounts. And you can sometimes get lucky and find a premium notice or benefits statement just by watching the mail.