As indicated in an article I wrote on May 3, 2016 regarding the withholding of death benefits by insurance companies, there have been some new developments. The insurance industry has had a long standing policy of holding death benefits if they were not contacted by the beneficiary. In other words, the burden was placed on the beneficiary to contact the company and make a claim. Many times, beneficiaries are unaware that they have been designated as a death benefit beneficiary. As a result, no claim was ever filed even though insurance companies have contact information related to the beneficiaries in their database. There was an attempt to obtain federal legislation to change the burden of contact to the insurance companies which was strongly opposed by the industry and its lobbyists. Unbelievably, the insurance companies opposed any change in the law which allowed them to use unclaimed benefits as reinvestment funds for their own gains.
As a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), we were alerted to a new regulatory law being proposed by the Obama Administration. It bears directly on your investments, which are determined by financial advisors for many of us. As an attorney, I must place the interest of my client first. I know ever Bar Association in which I have been affiliated requires this policy, ethically and legally. I could never place the interest of a law firm or company in which I'm affiliated before the client as an attorney.