I received a call from my agent, who I know personally, on Wednesday. He offered condolences and then said they had started the paperwork. They would eventually need a copy of the death certificate to send in. I did not end up giving them one as they contacted the funeral home and it was taken care of.
We had all of our policies there: life, camper, boat, house and vehicles as well as small policies for the boys. I needed to go in and sign the claim forms. They made my name the primary on the accounts.
They were able to file the claim at the beginning of January and it took about two weeks after that for the check for the life insurance to be ready. I requested a lump sum. I could have had monthly payments made, but I wanted to pay off the mortgage. I stopped by and picked it up. When I went to deposit it, the bank needed to place a hold because of the large amount.
Before Steve died, we had talked about the life insurance money hopefully being enough to pay for the funeral as well as a majority if not all of the mortgage and home equity loan. Pretty much one our regular paychecks went to cover the mortgage expense and with only receiving partial pay in the form of retirement, that expense needed to be taken care of.
I thank God that Steve was a planner and smart about money. I am blessed that we had the money to purchase policies because I know many, if not most people, have not planned for something like this.
When we got home from the hospital one of the first questions my oldest asked was if we would have enough money to pay off the house and what we would do about the truck. I told him we were not making any major decisions, especially that night. Oh, how quickly he took over as the role of the "man of the house".
Most material I have read says to not make any big financial decisions for the first 6 months but I did not feel the use of the life insurance was a decision. It had been decided when we opened the policy. It financially made the most sense.