Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives—Claim Your Inheritance in No Time
The United States holds around $58 billion in unclaimed money. One of the reasons is a sudden death of a beloved family member that can lead to many unresolved bureaucracy issues, such as forgotten bank accounts, unrevealed life insurance policies, or previously unknown parts of the estate.
After a certain period, the government will take custody of any unclaimed inheritance. If you believe you are entitled to it, the matter is worth exploring. There are a few ways to find out if you have some unclaimed money under your name, as well as to obtain it, and we are here to provide guidance.
Can You Claim Unclaimed Money From a Deceased Relative?
The answer is simple—yes, you can, and you should. The procedure regarding any estate that a deceased person left behind is the same as for other unclaimed assets.
If the representative of the estate cannot locate the surviving relatives, the funds will be transferred to the Treasury Department of the state where the deceased person resided.
The period before the estate is proclaimed abandoned and turned over to the government differs from country to country but can span from one to five years.
After that period, it is up to you to locate any missing inheritance in your name and take the necessary steps to retrieve it. There is no time limit for claiming your lost inheritance. Thanks to numerous online databases, searching for unclaimed assets has never been easier.
What Type of Unclaimed Funds From a Deceased Family Member Should You Look For?
One of the reasons that so much money goes unclaimed is that people are unaware of what constitutes unclaimed funds. The same goes for inheritance. Your first thought might be a forgotten estate or life insurance money, but there are more property types you should have in mind once you start looking.
Here is a table of the most common financial assets a deceased person leaves behind you can retrieve from the government:
|Type of Asset||Can I Reclaim It?|
|Safe-deposit box contents||Yes|
|Life insurance policies||Yes|
|Utility deposits held by financial institutions or holding companies||Yes|
Why Does the Money From Deceased Relatives Become Abandoned?
People can go for decades not knowing that they have some money left from their parents or relatives. With billions of dollars in unclaimed money under the United States government’s control, it is safe to say that the companies or representatives often fail to give the money to their rightful owners.
Here are some of the most common reasons for that:
- People die and don’t leave a will
- A person loses track of assets before their death, so nobody is aware of their dormant bank accounts, safety-deposit box contents, or uncollected paychecks
- People don’t name the beneficiaries of their life insurance policies
- Heirs move or get married and don’t update their names or current addresses, so they are impossible to locate
How Much Unclaimed Money Is Left in Banks When People Pass Away?
When a person dies, their bank account gets closed, and the bank distributes the money to the beneficiaries of the account. In case there are no beneficiaries, the bank will distribute the money according to the will of the deceased person.
If there was any credit card or personal loan debt, the bank will first collect money from the account to pay for it and then give the rest to the heirs.
It is common for the person who dies not to leave a will. In that case, the bank distributes the money according to the succession law—the majority goes to the spouse, and the rest is divided among children.
When the bank is unable to contact any relatives of the deceased person, the government takes over the money, regardless of the amount.
If you want to claim the money left from your deceased relative’s bank account, you will need to provide a death certificate and identification to prove family ties.
How To Claim Money From Deceased Relatives on Your Own
One of the ways to retrieve unclaimed funds from your missing relatives is by using MissingMoney. MissingMoney will let you conduct a nation-wide search in a few simple steps:
- Access MissingMoney
- Click the Search button
- Type in your name, city, and state in the required field, then hit Search
- If there is a match, hit the Claim button
- The site will list the information about the property. If you are eligible to claim the property, click on Yes, I can claim
- You will be directed to the state website, where you will be given further instructions on filing a claim. Click on the Go to website button
You can also use Unclaimed, the website of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, and follow these steps:
- Click on Select your state or province
- Choose a state
- If you don’t want to register, click on Just Search
- Click on Search For The Deceased
- Provide the information of the deceased, and click on Go
- You can add their Social Security number, but it is optional. Hit Search
If there is a match, you will receive further information on what documentation to prepare to file a claim. Make sure to check other states and cities where your deceased relative has previously lived.
How Can DoNotPay Help You Find Unclaimed Money From a Deceased Relative?
DoNotPay is here to make the process effortless by going through all state and federal databases in search of your missing inheritance. You are only required to take a few simple steps to find out if you have some unclaimed money from a deceased family member:
- Access DoNotPay in your web browser
- Navigate to the Missing Money feature
- Type in your full name and previous addresses in the required field
If the search results in a match, you can use the Claim My Property feature. DoNotPay will take care of the rest for you. We will even file the claim on your behalf!
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