By Jamie Novogrod, Producer, NBC Nightly News
Benefits that have not been collected for more than a few years after the death of a policy-holder often get turned over to the state where the policy was bought. This process -- called "escheatment" -- is mandated by state unclaimed property law. This website checks unclaimed property records in dozens of states. The website is run by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, an organization of state regulators. Here is NAUPA's own website: http://www.unclaimed.org/
Additionally, many states offer websites where people can check unclaimed property records. NAUPA recommends that after making a stop at missingmoney.com, Americans check unclaimed property records in every state where a loved one might have taken out a policy. The Foxes, with whom we spoke in our story, visited this website run by Missouri's state treasurer, where they found records belonging to Chris Fox's father.
And to read the Consumer Reports investigation, click here. Its author, Consumer Reports senior editor Jeff Blyskal, also appears in our story.
And the American Council of Life Insurers, an industry group, is offering a free website where users can store information and share it with families.