Although it’s not cost-effective, in that we don’t bill survivors for it, in our practice we tell survivors not to bother reading every little bill or document in their file box. Instead, we tell them if they see something with an account number or dollar sign on it, toss it in and we’ll go through it, eliminating duplicates, putting aside what is unimportant or not time-sensitive, and segregating what is important.
In doing this, we’ve found money that survivors had no idea was available. We’ve found life insurance policies, annuities, and other assets from companies that typically do not send out statements.
Remember that for most people, knowledge of and documentation for many financial products acquired during a lifetime–such as company-provided or credit card life insurance policies and the like–can easily be forgotten or mislaid. Sometimes, the only proof of such coverage is a weathered, 25-year-old statement crumpled up inside a folder stuffed with memorabilia or other items of no financial consequence.