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Frequently asked questions

Annuities are purchased as an investment that grows over time and is often used to supplement income during retirement. Funds that are left in the annuity at the insured’s time of death are distributed to their beneficiary(s) to ensure that loved ones are financially taken care of during a very emotionally difficult time. At Lincoln, we strive to make the beneficiary journey as easy as possible. Shown below, are some frequently asked questions to enhance your understanding of the annuity claim process.

When you are ready to get started filing your claim, select Lincoln iClaim
   

What if the beneficiary is an Estate?
  • The Claimant's Statement must be completed by the court-appointed Executor of the Estate.
  • A certified copy of the Letters Testamentary must be included.
  • The tax identification number (TIN) for the estate is required. (We cannot use the insured's Social Security Number.)
  • If the estate qualifies, you may submit a small estate affidavit in lieu of the certified copy of the Letters Testamentary. (Check your state guidelines.)
  • The options available to an estate are a lump sum or 5-year deferral (estate must stay open for the 5-year deferral period), or continue i4Life® Advantage on a nonqualified contract if previously running on the contract.
What if the beneficiary is a Trust?

The following pages of the Trust are required:

  • Title page of the Trust
  • Page naming the successor trustee(s)
  • Signature page
  • Any amendments to the Trust
  • The tax identification of the Trust. (We cannot use the deceased's Social Security Number.)
  • If the Trust is a Testamentary Trust we require a copy of the Probated Will and Letters Testamentary appointing the executor.
What if the beneficiary is a minor (under the age of majority)?

Every state has different requirements, which vary depending on the amount of the benefits payable.

  • The Claimant's Statement must be completed by the legal guardian/custodian of the minor's Estate.
  • A certified copy of the court appointment for the minor's estate is required.
  • The minor's personal Social Security Number must be provided.
What if the beneficiary is legally incompetent?
  • The Claimant's Statement must be completed by the Legal Guardian/Conservator of the beneficiary.
  • A certified copy of the court-approved appointment must be submitted if there is a legal guardian/conservator.
  • The beneficiary's Social Security Number and date of birth is required, not the personal representative's.
  • Copies of all required documents are acceptable for claims 100k or less.
What if I have Power of Attorney?
  • As an individual, you may also have Power of Attorney. In certain instances you may be require to provide a copy of these documents for your claim.
How should the Power of Attorney complete the Claimant's Statement on behalf of the beneficiary?

A copy of the Power of Attorney document must be submitted and cannot be more than three years old.

If the document is older than three years, a Power of Attorney Affidavit must be provided indicating the document hasn’t been revoked.

The beneficiary's Social Security Number must be provided; we cannot use the Attorney-in-Fact's.

What if the beneficiaries name is different than the one listed on the beneficiary designation?

If the beneficiaries name has changed due to marriage, divorce, etc., include a copy of the legal document (marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.) that documents the name change.

What if the beneficiary designation reads "Children" or a similar designation?
  • Distinctive Payee Arrangement form (PDF) is required.
  • A separate Claimant's Statement must be completed by each child listed on the Distinctive Payee Arrangement Form.
What if the beneficiary predeceased or postdeceased the insured prior to submitting the Claimant's Statement?
  • A copy of the Certified Death Certificate for that beneficiary is required.
  • Upon notification that a beneficiary has become deceased, we will review the contract and determine to whom the benefits are payable.
What if the beneficiary is a corporation or charitable organization?
  • A copy of the corporate resolution (or its equivalent) must be submitted indicating the representative is authorized to sign on behalf of the corporation or charitable organization.
  • The Claimant's Statement must be completed by a named representative in the corporate resolution.
  • The named representative must also complete and sign the Distinctive Payee Arrangement form.
  • The tax identification number for the corporation or charitable organization is also required (cannot use the representative’s Social Security number).
  • The only options for a corporation are a 5-year deferral, lump sum, or continue i4Life® on a nonqualified contract if previously running on the contract.
What if the beneficiary is a custodian for the benefit of the insured?
  • The claimant’s statement must be completed by a representative from the custodial company.
  • A copy of the corporate resolution (or its equivalent) must be submitted indicating the representative is authorized to sign on behalf of the custodian.
  • The tax identification number for the custodial company is also required (cannot use the representative’s Social Security number).
  • If the spouse of the insured is going to assume ownership of a custodial contract, the spouse’s information is required, i.e., name, date of birth, address and Social Security number.
What if the insured was a resident of Ohio, Indiana, Oklahoma, North Carolina or Michigan?

An additional approved Tax Waiver/Consent Form may be required for the following states and conditions:

  • Ohio Form ET 13 (for non-spousal beneficiaries and claims over $25,000)
  • Indiana Form IH-14 (for non-spousal beneficiaries) 
  • Oklahoma Form 472-B (for non-spousal beneficiaries and for deaths that occurred prior to 2010) 
  • North Carolina Form NC-4P (including trusts, estates, corporations and charities) 
  • Michigan Form W-4P (including trusts, estates, corporations and charities)
What if the death of the insured occurred in a country other than the United States?

A Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad from the U.S. Embassy of the country where the death occurred is required.

A Certified Death Certificate for the insured is required. (If it is in a foreign language we require it to be translated into English.)

Please fill out the  Foreign Death Questionnaire (PDF) .

What if I can't find some of the information requested in the online claim notification?

We might be able to work with the information you presently have, at least to start the process. Please call us 800-454-6265, extension 8200 for assistance.

How can I verify that my claim is an annuity?

Our Claims Specialist would be happy to clarify this for you. Please call us at 800-454-6265, extension 8200 for assistance. 
The following information may be requested to start the claim process.

  • Contract owner's home address
  • Contract number(s)
  • Annuitant's date of death
What if the contract is an ERISA contract?

The claim form needs to be signed and approved by the Plan Administrator.


Annuity FAQs Summary

Our comprehensive checklist provides answers to Annuity Claim frequently asked questions.

View summary (PDF)