What to Do if Someone Dies Without Life Insurance

I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them.
Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

Full Bio →

Written by

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states.
After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu…

Full Bio →

Reviewed by

Rachael Brennan

Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 14, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

Here's the Scoop

  • If you die and do not have a life insurance policy, your family members or loved ones may be responsible for paying for your final expenses and outstanding debts
  • Because life insurance policies are a form of financial security, your loved ones may not have the resources they need
  • Purchasing a term or whole life insurance policy will help you care for your loved ones even after you pass away

Most people think of a life insurance policy as a form of protection. Life insurance can protect a person’s loved ones from having to pay for their funeral expenses, and it can provide for their beneficiaries in many different ways. But what happens if someone dies without life insurance?

In order to know what to do if someone dies without life insurance, you need to understand everything that life insurance can cover. Ultimately, a person without a life insurance policy can burden family members and loved ones if they do not have another way to provide for them financially.

Before you make the decision not to purchase a life insurance policy, you may want to check out life insurance rates with different companies to see how much life insurance would actually cost for you.

Table of Contents

What happens if you do not have life insurance?

If you die and do not have a life insurance policy, your family and loved ones will be responsible for your final expenses. These expenses often include paying for your funeral or burial and handling any outstanding debt that was in your name.

In addition to having to pay for your final expenses, your loved ones may not have much support when it comes to financial security. Most events associated with a person’s death are made much more difficult without a life insurance policy.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do funerals work without life insurance?

If you have a family member who has passed away without leaving behind a life insurance policy, you may be curious about how to bury someone without life insurance. The truth is, with no life insurance, your family member or loved one left the burden of their burial expenses on you.

When there is no money to bury a deceased person, someone will be held responsible. If you and your family members simply cannot afford to bury your loved one, you can contact your county coroner’s office and let them know. They may have you sign a release to state that you were unwilling or unable to pay for a funeral, and then they will take the body.

One exception to this rule is when a veteran dies without life insurance. Funeral costs may be covered by the U.S. government because of the person’s affiliation with the military. But even with this instance, there are a few exceptions.

What happens when someone dies with no money?

If you pass away and do not have any money, you will not have anything to pay for your final expenses. Additionally, you will not be able to pass anything on to your spouse, partner, children, or loved ones. When you die, your debt does not just disappear.

Typically, your estate will be responsible for handling any outstanding debts. If there is no executor of your estate, no one is legally obligated to repay your debt when you pass away in most cases. However, there are some instances in which someone else may be held responsible:

  • A co-signer will have to pay for any debt associated with a loan.
  • A joint account holder will have to pay any debt on a credit card.
  • A spouse may be held responsible for certain types of debt in certain states.
  • Spouses may be required to pay debts using community property in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

When you pass away, you want to make sure you are leaving your family members and loved ones without the burden of having to handle your funeral expenses or pay for your outstanding debts. Purchasing a life insurance policy is one great way to make sure your loved ones are protected.

How much is life insurance?

Instead of stressing about what to do if someone dies without life insurance, it may be a better idea to learn a bit more about how to purchase a life insurance policy and how much money you can expect to pay for life insurance.

How much you will pay for life insurance depends on the type of policy you purchase, the amount of coverage you want, your age, your gender, and a few other factors. Term life insurance policies are almost always cheaper than whole life options. And all life insurance policies are cheaper when you are in your 20s and early 30s.

The table below shows average 20-year term life insurance policies based on a person’s age, health status, and gender.

20-Year Term Life Insurance Rates by Age

Age and Gender Good Health Average Health
20-year-old female $19 $25
20-year-old male $24 $30
30-year-old female $19 $26
30-year-old male $24 $31
40-year-old female $30 $39
40-year-old male $35 $47
50-year-old female $64 $84
50-year-old male $82 $113
60-year-old female $160 $218
60-year-old male $217 $303
70-year-old female $625 $756
70-year-old male $891 $1,066
#blank# #blank#

As a comparison to the table above, this next table shows the average whole life insurance policies based on a person’s age and gender as well.

Average Monthly Rates for A $100,000 Whole Life Policy

Age Whole Life Insurance Monthly Rates (Male) Whole Life Insurance Monthly Rates (Female)
25 $93.70 $84.91
30 $107.71 $97.35
35 $128.24 $112.93
40 $153.90 $132.15
45 $190.79 $156.17
50 $234.90 $191.66
55 $294.84 $243.17
60 $399.24 $311.63
65 $528.00 $421.69
#blank# #blank#

As you can see, whole life policies typically carry higher monthly rates. But a whole life policy will follow you for the duration of your life, while a term life policy will no longer cover you after the end of the term.

If you want to know more about purchasing a life insurance policy, you can shop around online to compare different life insurance policy types and their monthly rates. It is a good idea to compare rates from multiple companies before you make any final decisions. This will help you know you’re not overpaying for life insurance coverage.