One of the biggest myths about unclaimed Inheritance is that we probably don’t have it. You will be surprised to know that 1 in every 10 Americans has unclaimed money in one form or another. According to a report by The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), states restored $14.86 billion in unclaimed funds between 2013 and 2017.
And even so, it is only a small portion of well over $100 billion in unclaimed property that states still possess. Pension checks, tax refunds, rebates, old bank accounts, dividends, security deposits, and other asset categories are just a few examples of unclaimed assets.
We wish to share everything we have in life with our next kin after passing away. Therefore, Keeping track of everything we own is primarily our responsibility. Wealth could go unclaimed after our demise if we don’t keep the right track of our assets. Let us further discuss what is considered an unclaimed inheritance.
What are unclaimed inheritances or Unclaimed assets?
Assets not listed in a Will or other estate planning document increase the probability that those items or properties will go unclaimed. Also, if there is little to no evidence of the existence of our assets in the financial records and other papers we leave behind, it is likely to turn out as unclaimed assets.
A property left as an inheritance to a person or group of people but not dispersed as a part of the estate becomes an unclaimed inheritance. It may be because of the unavailability of inheritors. In these situations, a particular government’s treasury department keeps the asset in its possession until claimed correctly. Cash, cheques, money orders, security deposits, and the contents of safe deposits are just a few examples of unclaimed property.
Money is the largest unclaimed inheritance one might have. But various financial assets can go unclaimed. Here are a few examples of unclaimed estates that you can claim.
- Bank Accounts
- Insurance Policies
- Contents of a safe deposit box
- Pension checks
There are several reasons why the property could go unclaimed. Sometimes the owner just loses track of the asset, leaves it unattended or is deceased after writing the Last Will. If beneficiaries forget to claim their Inheritance or are entirely unaware of their rights, this can result in some of a person’s assets becoming unclaimed.
You might be eligible to inherit from a relative who went away without leaving a last will and will. Identifying oneself as a legitimate heir to their estate with the appropriate authorities may be all that is required to claim your Inheritance. There are various ways to go about when searching for unclaimed properties.
Searching for unclaimed inheritances
We are often faced with the difficult question—how do I claim my Inheritance that is unclaimed? Numerous databases keep track of unclaimed property belonging to a deceased party. Different databases list different types of assets or information from multiple jurisdictions.
Can I claim unclaimed assets?
It is possible to claim Unclaimed money and assets. However, if no one steps forward to claim it, it may eventually go to the state. Unclaimed property is governed by the law in every state, albeit the timing varies.
It is a good idea to list the different assets you need to search for. It is the first step in discovering unclaimed estates from deceased family members. This list can refer to bank accounts, property, insurance plans, retirement accounts, investment accounts, and other assets.
Where to search for unclaimed assets?
You can start looking for unclaimed assets after you have a probable list. There are a lot of websites and online resources that streamline this step of the process. You may conduct an unclaimed Inheritance free search online on a few different sites, such as:
- TreasuryDirect.gov – for unclaimed treasury securities
- Unclaimed.org – by NAUPA (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators)
- PBGC.gov – for unclaimed pensions.
You will be able to locate assets you are entitled to by using the division created by your state specifically for unclaimed property. Although, the question remains, what happens to the assets that remain unclaimed for an extended period?
What Happens to Unclaimed Inheritances?
Unclaimed Inheritance becomes a state property if unable to locate a legal heir to claim an inheritance, for example, if every single heir in the line of intestate succession has already passed away. The term for such forfeiture is Escheat. Some state laws permit a long line of succession to stop Escheat.
Some Brokers hold some assets and wait several years following the original owner’s demise before releasing them to the public treasury. These unclaimed inherited assets will only appear in the public records after a while. Some counties and states forbid distant relatives from inheriting unclaimed property unless they had a close relationship with the deceased.
Is there a time limit to claiming unclaimed assets?
There is a timeframe on how long a property or asset can sit unclaimed before the government takes over its management. This time frame varies from state to state. But, there is virtually no time limit on reclaiming that item or its value from the government, provided you have the documentation proving you are the legal inheritor.
How to Find Out If You Have Unclaimed Inheritance?
It might be overwhelming to think– how do I claim my Inheritance? Do I have any unclaimed inheritance? It may be your unclaimed inheritance money, assets, or anything we are often not aware of that our ancestors left behind. The best way to find your unclaimed Inheritance includes searching online databases and utilizing a professional locator service to find assets and properties.
You can also hire an estate lawyer to help collect unclaimed government assets. You can also check your state’s office of the treasurer to see where you can locate unclaimed money from deceased relatives offline. It will help you find assets you may inherit by using a division created for unclaimed property in your state.
Working with a professional is advantageous when seeking unclaimed inheritance money Professionals can help you serve as a go-between for you and the state to speed up the reclamation procedure and get your inheritance back. Think about what you may do in advance to prevent having to search for unclaimed money from departed family members.
Our ancestors have their legacies attached to their properties and assets. It is natural for us when we think about passing down our legacies to our next kin. But lack of a proper estate plan may lead to unclaimed will money and property. Assets not mentioned in a will or other estate planning document have a higher chance of being an unclaimed inheritance.
Finding unclaimed inheritance from deceased loved ones takes hard work, but it is simple if done correctly. It’s crucial to search for any unclaimed inheritance funds you may have, or they become state property and get liquidated at some point.
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