METLIFE ESTATE RESOLUTION SERVICES ENHANCES SUPPLEMENTAL GROUP LIFE BENEFITS
NEW YORK, June 30, 2008
MetLife, the largest U.S. life insurer and a leading provider of employee benefits, today announced that it has enhanced its group life benefits portfolio by adding estate resolution services as a standard feature to its supplemental Term Life, Group Universal Life (GUL) and Group Variable Universal Life (GVUL) insurance coverages in those states that have approved the feature. MetLife Estate Resolution ServicesSM can help employers increase employees’ appreciation of their group life insurance program by adding this new feature that helps alleviate the administrative and financial burden of probating an employee’s estate.
"MetLife Estate Resolution Services is an exciting addition to our group life employee benefits offerings which now go full circle – from estate planning, such as Will Preparation, to the actual distribution of an estate’s assets. The new services can provide employees with the added comfort of knowing that their estate’s executor will have valuable assistance in a difficult time – especially important as many executors have no prior experience handling such matters," said Graham Cox, vice president, Group Life Products Management, MetLife.
Probating an estate can take from six to nine months to complete according to the American Bar Association. However, this will also vary depending upon the size of the estate. With MetLife Estate Resolution Services, offered through Hyatt Legal Plans, executors and administrators will have access to the following comprehensive services by an attorney (certain exclusions apply):
- Legal representation from the attorney of their choice. The attorney fees are fully covered when using a participating Hyatt Legal Plans attorney. Attorney fees for a non-participating lawyer are reimbursable up to a scheduled amount.
- Preparation of documents and representation at court proceedings needed to transfer the probate assets from the insured’s estate to his or her heirs.
- The completion of correspondence necessary to transfer non-probate assets, such as proceeds from insurance policies, joint bank accounts, stock accounts or a house; and
- Associated tax filings.
Providing estate resolution services allows employers to optimize their group life benefits – helping employees more greatly appreciate these benefits. Benefits satisfaction has been linked to employee retention – the top benefits objective for employers, according to the sixth annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends. In the survey, 85% of employees who said that they were satisfied with their benefits said they planned to remain with their employer 18 months from now compared to only 50% of employees who were not satisfied.
It is easy and convenient for estate representatives to take advantage of the services. When a death is reported to MetLife (Metropolitan Life Insurance Company), beneficiaries receive an explanation of this service with their claim package. Beneficiaries and/or the executor or administrator simply call a toll-free telephone number to receive assistance in locating a participating attorney. Attorney services will be provided at no cost to the executor or administrator. Because a beneficiary is not necessarily the executor of an estate, MetLife Estate Resolution Services also provides beneficiaries with access to telephone consultations with a Hyatt Legal Plans attorney.
The Estate Resolution Services feature is not currently available in all states and availability is subject to regulatory approval. Where available, the new feature will be effective for new and renewing business in 2009 as an enhancement to MetLife’s portfolio of supplemental group life products for employers with over 500 eligible employees.
MetLife Estate Resolutions Services complement the Will Preparation services already available to many employee participants – also through Hyatt Legal Plans. MetLife also makes available Delivering the Promise® – a survivor assistance program that provides personal assistance and specialized services to employees’ beneficiaries.
About Hyatt Legal Plans
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Hyatt Legal Plans, a subsidiary of MetLife, is the largest provider of group legal plans in the U.S., serving five million people and more than 1,000 sponsors. Hyatt participants receive legal services from a national network of 4,800 participating law firms in all 50 states. For more information on Hyatt Legal Plans, visit www.legalplans.com.
Celebrating 140 years, MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its domestic and international subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance, reinsurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, please visit www.metlife.com.