Dear Harry:

We made a terrible mistake when my father died. At the time of the funeral, we left his home unattended. Robbers got into the place and took all kinds of valuables. They also took several life-insurance policies that named my mother as beneficiary. He was a strong believer in life insurance. My mother has no idea of the names of any of the companies involved. That money will go a long way toward paying for my mother's care in a nursing home. His SS is hardly enough, and his small pension died with him. Please, Harry, help us to find the information we need.

What Harry says: Step one is to get his old checkbooks and see which companies were paid for life insurance. This might give you all the companies involved. Further, many life-insurance applications (which become part of the policies) have a listing of other life insurance in force. So, if you can nail down a couple of the companies and get copies of their policies, you may be able to get the whole ball of wax. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department (215-560-2630) may have other suggestions if you're unsuccessful. For all of us who have to attend funerals of near relatives, you have alerted us once more of the danger of leaving homes of the deceased as well as their own unattended. Somehow, the robbers stake us out and cause all kinds of trouble. Be aware.

Write Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130. Harry urges all his readers to give blood - contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.