RE: Estate of ________________________.
Official Date of Death:
Social Security Number:
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am the Executor in the estate of the Decedent named above, and have included the proper information to indicate my role.
It is my understanding that the Decedent was an employee with your organization.
Please provide me with the following information where applicable. In addition, please furnish a list of required documentation that I will need in order to claim the benefits.
A. Group Life Insurance:
C. Pension, Profit-sharing, and 401 (k) payments or other Retirement plans or options:
1. Whether the plan is contributory or non-contributory.
2. If contributory, the amount of total employer/employee contributions and earnings.
3. Whether payable in lump sum or installments.
4. Whether any of the benefit payments represent life insurance proceeds and if so, the amount of life insurance proceeds and its cash surrender value at date of death.
5. Whether the plan is exempt under Section 401 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
6. Name, address, and phone number of the plan administrator, if any.
- Any other information you believe may be helpful or productive in conserving the estate of your former employee.
It would also be helpful if you would send me information about any close personal contact Decedent may have had at work who may reveal unrelated information to assist me in my role as Executor. It would also be helpful if you could send me pertinent information from Decedent’s personnel file regarding past places of employment and other details that might shed light on my mission as Executor. All help you can provide will be much appreciated by the Decedent’s family and heirs. Thank you in advance for you help in this troubled time for the Decedent’s family.
Please contact me if you have any suggestions, questions, or need additional information of any kind!
With best regards, Date: ________________
Employment Benefits Request, by Executor
This review list is provided to inform you about the document in question and assist you in its preparation. This letter to the former employer of Decedent is a sales letter intended to get maximum cooperation. If any assets are misplaced, or inadvertently hidden, employee records and close personal contacts at work may well help you uncover them. This is especially true if the Decedent was still employed by the firm upon his or her death. In that case, time is of the essence to get this letter out promptly when the Decedent’s death is still freshly in mind at his or her former company.
You should follow similar advice as was given in the Account Letter, for the Executor. One difference here is you want to uncover past places of employment to send them letters to see if Decedent has any financial rights due to employment or because of contributions at those firms. Remember that small sums of money invested in almost anything a long time ago become big sums many years later. Former employers may be the direct or indirect custodians of funds or accounts such as those.
Be sure to follow up with the official name as appears on Decedent’s Social Security forms because this will undoubtedly be the name under which these kinds of assets reside. Be sure to include the Decedent’s AKA’s (also known as) names, which includes nick names or the exclusion of a first or middle name or initial. I, for example, go by “Deaver Brown” but my legal name is “David Deaver Brown.” That difference only causes confusion among distant contacts or financial institutions—or the occasional telemarketer who calls for “Dave.” So, be sure to give the recipient of this and other account letter all the choices to track down.
A special point about AKA’s applies to women, especially those married at least twice. They may have rights under their former husband’s names, may have accounts listed with all kinds of combinations of their first names and last name, and various other points of confusion. So, be sure to follow through on this because the widow of recent years with a seemingly stable use of her name may have gone by many others in her earlier days, and money may be parked in those names.
- Sign the letter. Keep a copy for follow-up. Keep a phone log of all conversations so you can refresh your memory when new facts emerge, if they emerge.
2. Again, remember, common sense says that the larger the potential estate, the more prone it will be to have productive assets that need to be found. This is especially true if the individual, or their spouse, was speculative or entrepreneurial by nature.
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