first_imgBy Gladys Lawrence, AFCPE-FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship InternEvery year more than a billion dollars in life insurance benefits go uncollected mainly because beneficiaries do not file claims. How can military families ensure that their loved ones collect the money that they intended their beneficiaries to have?Keep life insurance policies in a safe place.  A safe deposit box, safe, or designated home filing system is recommended. Ensure that one or more trusted people also have access to insurance documents, if military families chose to put them in a safe or safe deposit box. These people should have a separate key. This is a small but important point: check to see that all keys to box actually work properly. If life insurance policies are put in a safe,  make sure one or two other trusted persons have the combination to the safe.Advise service members to make a list with the names of the insurance companies, phone numbers, policy numbers, pay off amounts, and the name(s) of beneficiaries. Use this form from Rutgers Cooperative Extension to record important financial data. File this list away and let trusted family or friends know about it or physically given another copy to them.  Policyholders can also put a copy in their safe deposit box or safe.Remember, taking a few simple steps now can save a service member’s family money and stress during a very vulnerable time in their lives.This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on August 2, 2013last_img