Ask the Life Insurance Expert

My father passed away recently and I’m the sole beneficiary of his life insurance policy. Can I borrow money from it?

No. Being a beneficiary doesn't qualify you to access a life insurance policy's cash value account and borrow from the policy. You must be the policy owner to get access to the cash value.

However, you now have a right to the policy’s face value since your father has passed away. To receive settlement money from a life insurance policy you need to make a claim

You should contact your father’s life insurance provider to start the claim process.  It helps if you have on hand the insured’s (your father) following information when calling:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death
  • Life insurance policy number

The insurance company can walk you through the steps of how its claim process works and likely will send you a packet that contains instructions and forms to fill out.  You’ll be expected to provide a certified copy of the insured’s death certificate.

You will receive face value of your father’s life insurance policy, not face value plus cash value like some believe.  The cash value basically disappears once the insured party dies. 

Last updated: Jun. 3, 2014
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