Should I boost a death benefit to convert the cash value of a life insurance policy?

My husband became disabled several months ago, and I became his legal guardian/representative. I am also the beneficiary of his life insurance. I contacted the company to find out how to use the life insurance money to care for him. I was informed that to make a claim I needed a special form which was not available on the website. However, I was not informed of the ability to convert the cash value (of roughly $20K) over and above the death benefit (of roughly $100K). At the time my husband was still alive, and has since passed. I am wondering, since I have yet to file a claim, whether or not it is acceptable to request the advised "boost in death benefit."  I do not want to leave cash on the table. 

Insurance, End of Life
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September 2016

I am sorry for your loss.

Under insurance law there has to be a corridor between the cash value and the face value of the policy. This means the death benefit must be higher than the cash balance inside the policy (under normal circumstances). When the cash balance in the policy is above the face value, the death benefit the to you will be the cash value plus the corridor. If you check your last insurance statement or call the company, they will tell you the cash balance and what the death benefit is currently.

I am not sure what a boost in death benefit is referring to, unless you are referring to the approximately $20,000 over the face value of the policy. This will be included in the death benefit you get along with the extra amount for the corridor, when you file your claim for death benefits.

Filing the claim normally requires a certified death certificate and maybe an insurance form. I would suggest contacting the insurance company quickly and get the claim process underway. From what you described you will not be leaving any money on the table. It is yours, so go claim it.


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October 2016