Here’s a list of some common questions we get about the claims process. These will help you understand what’s required and the legal hurdles that might come up when you make a claim.
Please note that we are not lawyers so any information provided here is general only and does not consider your personal circumstances.
What is a certified copy?
It’s actually a lot simpler than it sounds. A certified copy is a document signed by an official witness to make sure it’s the same as the original. When you make a claim, we’ll ask you for certified copies of any documents so that you get to keep the real ones for yourself (you’ll thank us later).
But you can’t just have anyone sign the copies for you. It needs to be signed by an authorised witness like a Notary Public, Justice of the Peace or Deputy Registrar of the court. Certified documents also need to have the following on every page:
- The full name, date, signature, registration number (if any) and title of the signing witness.
- The statement “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”.
What documents do I need to provide when making a claim?
To make a claim, you’ll need to provide certified copies of the following documents:
- Evidence of death (e.g. Death Certificate or Coroner’s Report)
- Life Insured’s identity (e.g. Driver’s Licence or Passport)
- The claimant’s identity (e.g. Driver’s Licence or Passport)
What is probate?
Probate is the process of making sure someone’s last Will is legally valid so that it can be carried out. This makes it easier for family members to access the deceased person’s estate after they die. If the deceased didn’t leave a Will (or the High Court thinks the Will isn’t valid), the court will appoint an Administrator who will distribute the assets using a formula prescribed by the government.
Probate or Letters of Administration can take a long time to prepare. That’s why it’s best to consult a lawyer or someone who knows about the process (sorry, not us). In New Zealand, there are some cases where you can skip this process all together, like if the deceased person’s financial assets are less than $15,000. Additional documentation will be required in this case.