t’s almost unbelievable that billions of dollars go unclaimed – who wouldn’t want to claim their lost or forgotten money? But actually the reason there is so much unclaimed property is because most of it belongs to someone who is deceased. The state makes attempts to notify the owner, but doesn’t have the capacity to seek out the owner’s next of kin, so most family members aren’t aware their deceased love one has unclaimed property, and the few who are aware of it don’t know if it’s legal for them to claim it, or how to go about claiming the unclaimed money of a deceased relative.
This means that there is a LOT of money out there that could be claimed by relatives, if they only knew about it. And since the unclaimed property belongs to someone who is deceased, there is no statute of limitations on claiming it – meaning that even if the property has been unclaimed for years, or even decades, the rightful owner (or their next of kin) can still claim it.
If you think you might have unclaimed money owed to you from a deceased family member, there are a few things you should know. First, it is perfectly legal for you to claim this money – if you are the heir of the owner, the money rightfully belongs to you. Second, the process for claiming it varies from state to state, so make sure you know what’s required for the state the unclaimed property is being held in. Third, while claiming your own unclaimed property can be relatively simple, claiming the unclaimed property of a deceased relative is more complex, so be prepared for that.
The first thing you should do is search the state’s unclaimed property database. If you find a listing for your relative, you will then need to either follow the instructions on the state’s Unclaimed Property website, or contact the state’s unclaimed property office directly to request a claim form.
As mentioned, claiming the unclaimed property of a deceased relative can be more complicated than claiming your own unclaimed property. There’s more paperwork involved, and in most cases, you’ll need to provide documentation that proves not only your identity, but also proof of your relationship to the deceased person. Many states will also require you to provide a death certificate in order to claim the money.
Once you have gathered the documents, completed the claim form, and submitted everything to the office, they will review your claim and determine if you are eligible to receive the money based on everything you have submitted. If so, they will issue a check or direct deposit to you for the amount owed.
However, if additional documentation is needed, or if the unclaimed property needs to go through probate or be part of the estate of the deceased, you may want to consider contacting a professional company (like EstateCo) that specializes in asset recovery, probate, and unclaimed funds and estates.
(Sidenote: Read This Article BEFORE You Agree to Work With an Asset Recovery Company!)
If the unclaimed property is part of an estate, then the process for claiming it will be different. In most cases, you will need to file a claim with the probate court in order to receive the money. The probate court will then review your claim and determine if you are eligible to receive the money based on everything you have submitted. If so, they will issue a check or direct deposit to you for the amount owed.
Keep in mind that if the unclaimed property is part of an estate, there may also be other heirs who are entitled to a portion of the money. So, if you are approved to receive payment for the unclaimed property, you may only receive a portion of the total amount owed. But since claiming these funds costs you nothing, there’s no reason not to claim it. The process may seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that this money rightfully belongs to you – so don’t be afraid to claim it!
Most importantly, keep in mind that EstateCo is here to help you get what’s yours.