NU Online News Service, Sept. 2, 2004, 3:45 p.m. EDT

MetLife Inc., New York, has started offering a free survivor assistance package to all employers that buy its group life plans.[@@]

MetLife began offering survivor assistance benefits to individual life customers 6 years ago. The new package, the MetLife Survivor Assistance Program, provides free, interest-paying money market checking accounts to hold death benefits, will preparation services for some insureds, and a variety of counseling and support services.

The money market accounts give beneficiaries a vehicle they can use to store the benefits while they are deciding how to handle their finances.

The will service is available to group life insureds who buy supplemental life through MetLife. Insureds who qualify for the service can schedule free, face-to-face meetings with lawyers to draft wills. The lawyers are affiliated with MetLife’s Hyatt Legal Plans unit, MetLife says.