I have a friend whose relative passed away recently, and she has reason to believe the relative may have named her beneficiary of a life insurance policy (or a will). She is alienated from the remainder of the family, so she is getting no information. She merely has the deceased relative's name and date of birth. Is there any way for her to generally check to determine if she were the beneficiary on any insurance policies of this relative? She remembers one life insurance company this particular relative (who lived/died in Virginia) used years ago, but other than this, she doesn't have any more information to go on. If she contacted that particular insurance company, would they be under any obligation to affirm/deny whether they have a policy for this relative, and whether she is listed as a beneficiary without having to present the death certificate (or if a death certificate had already been presented by another person)? Would she be able to determine whether she was a beneficiary of the deceased relative's will? If a will were filed in the decedent's county courthouse, would it lead my friend to the name of the attorney that prepared it (and may be holding it in order to probate, etc.)? Would an attorney be able to actually help? I think this gives enough of a flavor for what my friend is up against. Thanks for any help to facilitate this process.