‘My dying Godmother left me £135k but the paperwork has gone missing’

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Dear Katie, 

On a beautiful spring day two years ago, my beloved godmother sat me down and told me she was dying of cancer. She was like a mother to me as she had no family of her own. I was devastated. On that day, she told me she had taken out an insurance policy and named me as the beneficiary, but I was so upset by the news that I didn’t properly take it in. She passed away less than three weeks later.

Afterwards, I found out that the policy, originally taken out with Legal & General two decades ago, had grown to £135,000 in value. However, it had since been taken over by Reassure, which doesn’t have any paperwork saying who the beneficiary is. The branch where my godmother took out the policy no longer exists, so there is no one there to ask.

My godmother was very insistent that this money was for me. And given that she used to work in insurance herself, I find it difficult to believe she would have made a mistake. Yet there seems to be no evidence that she left this money to me. An inheritance of this size would be life-changing for me and my family.

– SB, via email

Dear Reader, 

After months of you trying to get some sense out of Reassure, following my intervention someone phoned you. No paperwork had been lost, it transpired. You were told the policy had never been assigned to a beneficiary, meaning the money has automatically been bequeathed to your godmother’s wider estate.

So instead of you inheriting the lot, some will be split between a number of charities and you will inherit a lower sum of £40,000. You are very upset by this news and I understand why. I asked Reassure to double check it was confident something hadn’t been missed. It said it was sure. Copies of the original paperwork show there was no named beneficiary and Reassure is positive that it was not amended thereafter.

I’m so very sorry this wasn’t the outcome you were hoping for. You can now move on from your hunt for paperwork, but you will always wonder about your godmother’s true intentions over this policy. You may never know for sure. Though this may feel confusing, one thing could not be clearer: this special woman meant the world to you, just as you did to her. No sum of money in the world – or lack of it – could ever change that.

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