How To Claim Inheritance Money Stress-Free

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How To Claim Inheritance Money—A Step-By-Step Guide

While many people prefer having a distraction when coping with grief, being stuck in an administrative hell regarding inheritance is never pleasant. Even if your deceased family member left a last will, there could be some difficulties in claiming your assets.

In times of immense emotional pain, it’s only natural to be forgetful regarding anything, including the inheritance. If you think there’s unclaimed money from deceased relatives that you’d like to claim, DoNotPay has the simplest solution.

Unclaimed Inheritance Money Explained

If your deceased relative left a detailed last will, you’ll probably receive all your assets hassle-free. The process of claiming inheritance can get complicated when the deceased:

  • Didn’t determine asset distribution, in which case the assets are split between the closest relatives
  • Forgot to include all of the assets he/she had in the testament
  • Wrote the last will long before dying and forgot to update it with the new properties

Suppose no one claims the inheritance after a certain period has passed. In that case, the money is marked as unclaimed, and it becomes the state’s property. This usually happens because:

  • The family members can’t be contacted and informed about the inheritance in any way
  • The heirs forget to collect the money
  • The assets go under the radar because the deceased didn’t include them in the last will

In most states, inheritance becomes unclaimed after five years, but some states have a shorter time frame. You should research the rules of the state(s) your deceased relative lived in.

The state will hold the funds, but you’ll have the right to file a claim whenever you want. Most states—such as Michigan—won’t charge you a fee.

Other Types of Unclaimed Money

Besides inheritance, there are other types of unclaimed money like unclaimed insurance money, refunds, contents of safe deposit boxes, etc.

Keeping in mind that most unclaimed assets are worth over $100, knowing how to claim it won’t hurt you. If you can’t find any forgotten inheritance, try searching for other unclaimed assets such as:

General Ledger

  • Unpaid wages
  • Unpaid commissions
  • Payroll checks
  • Vendor credits


  • Savings accounts
  • Deposit accounts
  • Checking accounts


  • Bonds
  • Stocks
  • Dividends
  • Fund & brokerage accounts

Insurance Carriers

  • Life insurance policies
  • Annuity contracts

What Are the Common Reasons That Stop People From Claiming Inheritance Money?

Most people don’t claim their money because they don’t even know it exists. They often forget about collecting last paychecks, refund money, or the funds left after closing a bank account.

When it comes to inherited properties, the heirs sometimes aren’t informed about the inheritance because the executor couldn’t get in touch with them.

People also don’t want to waste time dealing with paperwork regarding the claim, so they often give up, especially if a small amount of money is at stake. Considering the time one has to invest in navigating the websites of various states, it’s understandable why a lot of money stays unclaimed.

How To Find Your Unclaimed Inheritance Money

Each state in America has its own institution dedicated to helping residents claim their forgotten properties, whether they want to claim inheritance or a forgotten paycheck. You can find all of these websites by following these steps:

  1. Visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) website
  2. Click on the View the Full Map option in the dropdown menu of the Find and Claim tab
  3. Select the state in question
  4. Follow the instructions of the dedicated website

When it comes to unclaimed inheritance money, you should check the database of each state that your deceased relative lived in.

Another option is to do a multi-site search by visiting the Missing Money website. You’ll be able to look for unclaimed money in all states except in:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

What To Keep in Mind When Trying To Find Unclaimed Inheritance Assets

Before you start your search, you should know that it might take a few hours to find all unclaimed inheritance assets. Typing in your deceased relative’s name isn’t always enough.

You’ll probably need to try many different variations of their name before finding the right one:

  • With or without abbreviations (Jr or Junior)
  • With or without quotation marks
  • Their name before and after the marriage
  • Mixing the order of the name and surname
  • Your own name in case you’re a beneficiary or a policyholder
  • With or without including the words, such as:
    • Trustee
    • Unknown Heir
    • The Estate of
    • Beneficiary

Once you find your forgotten inheritance, you can claim it either online or by sending a letter to the dedicated facility, depending on the rules of the state in question.

You’ll need to provide proof that you’re related to the deceased person to be able to claim the money. Some states might even ask you to provide your Social Security number, so prepare it in case you need it.

Claim Inheritance Money the Easy Way With DoNotPay

If you want to avoid navigating numerous websites and spending hours in front of the computer, DoNotPay has a solution for you. Our Missing Money tool will help you find all the unclaimed funds under your name, be it the inheritance money or any other type of unclaimed assets.

To take advantage of this fantastic tool, follow these steps:

  1. Open your DoNotPay account in a
  2. Click on the Missing Money option
  3. Provide us with all the necessary info, including your middle name and all of the previous addresses

DoNotPay scans numerous databases of all of the states you lived in to ensure a thorough search. This will save you a lot of time because you won’t have to go through each website on your own—DoNotPay will do it automatically.

Once you notice you’re entitled to an unclaimed asset, you’ll be able to use our other awesome feature called Claim My Property. We will file a claim on your behalf and spare you the trouble of having to hire a professional or spend ages trying to file a claim by yourself.

Having Difficulties With Other Issues? DoNotPay Is Here To Help!

DoNotPay will make your search for unclaimed inheritance assets swift and easy, but that’s not the only perk our Missing Money tool offers.

We can also assist you in claiming money from your old bank accounts, or any other type of assets all across the U.S., including states such as

Besides this super helpful tool, DoNotPay also offers a myriad of other money-saving features you’ll love. Log in to your account from a and enjoy solving any issue you have by relying on us to help you:

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