When a loved one passes away, one question that may arise is how you know you're getting the correct inheritance. If your parent has life insurance, then you may be established as a beneficiary and might want to make sure you're receiving a payout in accordance with what they expected, for example.
One good way to make sure you know what's going to happen when a parent passes is to speak with them before it happens. If they don't have a will and expect their life insurance to pay you directly, point out the importance of an estate plan, too.
Any assets left behind without a named beneficiary or without a will establishing a beneficiary will need to go through probate. This can be a long process. It's helpful to bring up the importance of an estate plan with a will to your parent and to encourage keeping documentation about insurance policies with these documents. That way, you can have information about what to expect when being paid out.
If your loved one has insurance and names you as a beneficiary, then you'll be paid directly, which is one benefit of life insurance. Other assets, like homes, vehicles or art will go through probate if no will is present. You'll have to spend time in court to fight for those assets, which is a headache for those who are mourning.
Our site has more on probate and what to do to avoid it. With help, your loved ones can leave behind a solid estate plan that protects your family.