How long is it reasonable to wait for an assurance company to pay death benefits to the spouse, after her husband died?

The assurance company in question is taking over 4 years, claiming they are waiting to correspond with other parties, I presume husband's children from another marriage, who live in Thailand. Also presumably they take too long to produce the needed documents or to answer, or maybe the company is writing to wrong people, just as a guess. The company did not reveal any details.

However, the spouse is question is sick, cannot work, and has no means to live from, so she is very much dependent on the benefit she is entitled to.

My question is, is it reasonable that the assurance company is delaying the payment of her part, because other parties she has no contact with, are delaying the process?

Would it make sense to request an earlier separate settlement for the part to which the spouse is entitled?

Some details added

The husband signed "Expression of Wish (Nomination of Beneficiaries) Form, saying that "the trustees/scheme administrator has absolute discretion as to which of my beneficiaries receive the lump sum death benefit, I would like this to be paid to the following", where the widow is named with 100% percent.

I wonder what does the "absolute discretion" mean here? Can the trustees simply ignore the named widow or delay any payment infinitely?

The widow is very sick and relies on such payment, she can die in absence of adequate treatment, will it make the company responsible?

  • Country of the company and the widow? Was she the beneficiary or could the first wife or children be beneficiaries? Anyway aee if there's a government agency that regulates insurance or pension companies. – mkennedy Oct 19 '17 at 20:33
  • @mkennedy Company is UK based, widow in Thailand. Only she is listed as beneficiary in the paper. But the company decided to track the first wife (divorced) and children despite of that. What would be the UK regulation agency? – Dmitri Zaitsev Oct 20 '17 at 21:12
  • possibly this group might be able to help but I'm not British so I don't know - financial-ombudsman.org.uk/about/index.html – mkennedy Oct 20 '17 at 23:28

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