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When they have hidden /destroyed documents


Registered User
May 9, 2020
I was dealing with some court stuff this past few weeks in regard to the annual accounts as deputy to my mother.
In doing this I realised there were a couple of strange annual payments coming out of the accounts for tiny amount of money to insurance companies.
I rung one of them told them the situation and was informed I would have to go through all the security and send in the court order etc blar blar before they could give me exact details etc but added it was probably for what they call ' a penny policy' that was so old the premium was taken annual ( it for just over £3 a year)
This prompted me to ask what happens when my mother passes away.?
I know she has various life insurance policies but they are missing.
She has ove rthe months when her illness was progressing hidden/destroyed/eaten???? who knows everything.
I have been informed everything from her birth certificate to her savings books are missing /unable to be found in the house so I was wondering what the process is.
Im sure Iam not the only person who ends up trying to sort out not only a death with no will, but a death where you are sadly lacking in paperwork.
I asked the insurance company and they said the onus is on me to ring and give information when she dies.
How do i know who to ring if I dont have insurance policies etc? Do you ring every insurance company in the book and say my mum has died has she got a policy with you please?
I know I will probably have to get a copy birth certificate etc and being a proactive sort of person I think I want to get as much as is possible done now so I dont have to do all this etc stuff when it happens
I thought there was a thing when you registered a death called 'one click' or something and that told everyone that mattered that the person had died, I presumed this meant life insurance companies and they then contacted who ever registered the death etc.
Surely if people with dementia hide paperwork or burn it etc what do relatives do, some might not even be aware there was any life insurance.
The lady at the insurance company I telephoned said the best way to get possible names of companies is to go through their bank statements to look for payments but as I told her some are no longer paid, people dont have paper statements anymore and if they did they probably missing like the policies etc
Has anyone dealt with this kind of problem ?


Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
North Manchester
The 'Tell us once' service on registration of a death only notifies national and local government entities,
You have to give details, it saves contacting and maybe sending death certificate to multiple places.

You can attempt to find expired term based policies for a payment of a search fee by contacting https://www.uar.co.uk/ .
Otherwise, unless you can find records of payment, it's a case of contacting insurances companies with the hassle of proving death/identities each time, many companies will have merged.
In most cases I doubt if it will be worth the effort.

Have a read through:

https://www.comparethemarket.com/life-insurance/content/penny-life-insurance-policy/ .


Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
You could look through her online bank statement. My mother's online statement goes back about 7 years I think, I checked back a while ago.

Presumably you also have access to any mail which now arrives for your mother? I have LPA and I got my mother's mail redirected to me. Some financial companies send annual or 6 monthly statements or other paperwork so that is another way of tracking things down. I discovered the existence of an ISA that way.

You say you've only been deputy a few weeks, so you may find routine paperwork arrives over the next few months which will help.


Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
West Hertfordshire
You could take the other approach- ask the bank for 12 months worth of statements, which should hopefully identify all the people/policies she pays out on. Easier if you have POA.

If you don't, when the time comes the executor of her will will be able to


Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
We were aware that my mum had money coming in / money going out from her bank account when the LPA was finally transferred to us from her bank statements.

Her previous attorney would not hand over ANY documents/policies (including bank cards, birth/marriage certificates, disabled parking blue badge etc, but that's another story); so we had to start from scratch.

Working backwards from mum's bank statements, with the help of the bank, we contacted each institution listed, explained the situation and included copies of the LPA, and in each case, we were sent details of the annuity or insurance for our records.

There's no shortcut unfortunately, so write a stock letter and then tweak to fit for each institution; it took time and effort, but worth it.

We are mum's attorneys, I'm afraid I have no knowledge of deputy-ship, but I guess it's similar paperwork, showing your authority acting on behalf of.


Registered User
May 9, 2020
I have bank statements for the last 2 years and the only insurance like payment was the one mentioned. I know she often told me after her divorce that she had transferred her pension to me ( it usually went to spouse) and I know where her pension comes from so I can contact them when the time comes and ask if it just stops or if there is any transfer set up etc. But i know when she got divorced she had to list all her existing life insurances and pensions etc as assets and she gave me a list of them and the numbers ( long since thrown away sadly) and on that list there were definately more than 2 items more like 6 or 7.
At the moment her home is chaos apparently and she frequently takes things hides things moves things so I am hoping at some point before she actually passes away we get the opportunity to go through the house from top to bottom without her being there and her throwing a fit watching and maybe find some more stuff that is maybe hidden etc.
Until then I think I will order a new birthday certificate just in case and contact her solicitors and ask if they kept any records of her divorce which might have some relevant information within.
All I cans say to anyone at the early stages of a relative showing signs of this terrible disease either hide everything or take photos of all documents in case when you go back they are gone.


Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
I know it is a different situation, but when we did the council assessment for care home fees, Mummy was under the required threshold, but I also made it repeatedly clear that I was dealing with the incomplete records (bank statements, pensions etc) of a person who had previous severe mental health issues. I tried to be as open as I could be whilst recognising that making sense of someone elses affairs, who has been unable to manage them for some time, is not straightforward. They seemed to accept this though I was very anxious that they would think we were trying to fool them. This kind of thing can be a nightmare, you have my sympathies.