When tragedy strikes, life insurance responds, helping survivors carry on with their lives financially. As valuable as a death benefit check is, many survivors face other hurdles as they learn to cope with their loss.

Anyone who has lost a loved one understands that grief continues long beyond the actual loss. It's not unrealistic to expect the process to extend for a year. The five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance—can take over a year to complete. Sometimes, even longer.[1]

Emotional stress is just part of what survivors experience. Too often, legal issues surface, as well. More than half of the time, there is no will.[2] Even when one is in place, the probate process may be daunting for survivors. If families have no relationship with a lawyer, they may not even know where to begin the process.

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