With unclaimed assets increasing by the day, it would not be surprising that your ancestral unclaimed assets might be more than you can imagine. Like bonds, trust funds and estates, inheritance money can also be lost because of so many reasons. Ancestral inheritance money can be because of a variety of reasons:
A deceased relative left no written will
Your relative switched funds over to another bank
Multiple address changes were done before your dear ones left this world
A contested estate was left behind or a life insurance policy that was never cashed in
Aside from the above, there can be multiple other life-altering reasons which can result in lost inheritance, which is waiting to be claimed. Here are some tips in order to locate and claim unclaimed inheritances:
Create an Assets list: Locate the amount of money your family owns in various banks, trusts, stocks, insurance policies and bonds so that you have a way of tracking money if it becomes lost. It is recommended that you keep copies of bills, pay stubs and bank books. This way you will have written proof that the inheritance money belongs to you and your family.
Get in touch with all the relatives: All the older generation relatives might not be living close to you. If there are a few relatives living far away in a different state or country, they may be able to provide you information on any lost inheritance money.
Contact the unclaimed property local office: State takes control of the inheritance money if there is no known address to send inheritance money to. If you have documented proof that there is family inheritance money lying with the state, write or call the unclaimed property office in the state of the inheritance estate, and the office will check the databases. If the information provided by you matches with the state’s information in the unclaimed property database, then you will be informed by the state treasury. There might be a simple form to fill out to kick-off the recovery campaign for the ancestral unclaimed money.
Search unclaimed money websites: Besides every state’s unclaimed money website, here are several websites which provide the most current information regarding the unclaimed money in your name. It is advisable that you browse through some of the most reliable unclaimed money databases aside from the official state database. It is also advisable that you don’t approach websites that charge a fee for this search as you can directly contact an unclaimed property office, where such information is free.
Hire a lawyer: In some cases the scenario might be very complex and the inheritance money can be out of reach because of a financial dispute or a technicality in a contested will. Under these circumstances, hiring an estate lawyer to sort through legalities may be the best option. This will not only save you a lot of time, but also give you the confidence that the long lost ancestral money can be legally yours.
These tips should help in your search to finding any lost inheritances. There are also many websites out there that offer free unclaimed money searches as well.