Quick Tips for TOLI Trustee’s When Filing a Death Claim

It was an insightful week at the Cannon Financial Institute – led by industry experts, the Unique and Hard-to-Value Asset Administration course helped attendees stay informed about the challenges trustees face when managing specialty assets.  Aaron Hanson, the director of remediation at ITM, led the Life Insurance portion of the course – covering many aspects involved with administering life insurance trusts, including some tips when filing a death claim.

In this article, we’ll provide some of those quick tips for TOLI Trustees when filing a life insurance death claim. 


Quick Tips for Filing a Death Claim:  

  1. When you receive notice of the death of the insured (or 2nd insured on Survivorship), you will need to request a copy of the Death Certificate.   
  2. Email all internal representatives, so they are aware of the trust account closing.    
  3. Mark them as deceased in your trust accounting system.   
  4. Add a Trust Note about Death – DOD, etc.   
  5. Change policy status to death claim pending if deceased is the only insured. If there is a survivor, do not change status, but you still need to get death certificate.    
  6. Contact the carrier and request a Death Claim Package. The carrier may ask you to answer some questions and will mail the forms (usually takes a couple of weeks).   
  7. When received, complete and submit the Death Claim Package to the carrier (along with a certified copy of the Death Certificate).    
  8. Follow-up with carrier every week until claim is completed, and checks are mailed.   
  9. Keep the policy/account open in your system until you receive confirmation that all claim checks have been received.    
  10. Email all internal representatives to let them all know that the account has been closed.  


Along with the death claim filing process, the course covered many aspects of closing a trust account, such as resignation, removal, distribution to beneficiaries, and more. To learn more about the topics covered in this course, click here to download the course handbook.

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