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
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:
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:
- Visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) website
- Click on the View the Full Map option in the dropdown menu of the Find and Claim tab
- Select the state in question
- 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:
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:
- Unknown Heir
- The Estate of
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:
- Open your DoNotPay account in a web browser
- Click on the Missing Money option
- 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 web browser and enjoy solving any issue you have by relying on us to help you:
- Find and claim any unclaimed funds
- Start free trials without the risk of being charged
- Resolve credit card problems
- Appeal parking tickets
- Unsubscribe from any subscription or membership
- Fight traffic tickets
- Register for any service without verifying your phone number
- Contact customer care reps over the phone hassle-free
- Contest speeding tickets
- Keep your inbox spam-email-free
- Learn how to protect yourself from stalkers and harassment
- Report robocalls and get compensation
- Bring anyone to small claims court
- Find and apply for medical trials
- Request refunds from any company
- Report and block text spam
- Send letters to your loved ones in prison from the comfort of your home
- Handle unpaid bills
- Request refunds and compensation from airlines for delayed or canceled flights
- Protect your work against copyright infringement
- Set up DMV appointments super quickly