As a beneficiary of your deceased relative’s estate, you are entitled to the specified assets. However, there might also be some unclaimed property that your relative had no knowledge of or had forgotten. The financial institutions and companies holding such property must submit them to a state agency when they cannot locate the owner. Many states operate an unclaimed property program and maintain records that anyone can search. You can use these databases to find any unclaimed inheritance.
Visit a website where you can search each state’s unclaimed property records. These include Unclaimed.org and Missingmoney.com. Unclaimed.org provides links to each state’s unclaimed property program, while Missingmoney.com searches records for all participating states at once.
Proceed to the unclaimed property program search page. Enter your relative's last name into the appropriate field. You may also enter the first name and city or state for a more refined search. Click the search button to generate results.
File a claim if you find unclaimed property. Follow the instructions that the agency provides on the program page. The agency will require documents that prove that the property belongs to your relative's estate. Also, prepare to prove your identity and your right to claim the property.
Repeat the process for other states where your relative lived, if you are searching each state individually.
- Missingmoney.com limits the number of results per search but allows you to enter several addresses in the advanced search for better results.
- Some fraudulent companies charge a fee to claim property on your behalf. The government websites are free to use and the process of claiming property is straightforward.
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
- What Happens to Bank Accounts When Someone Dies?
- How to Avoid Inheritance Taxes on Property
- Does a Minor Inherit Money After a Parent's Death?
- How to Start Retirement After a Windfall Inheritance
- Can I Be Put on the Title of a House If I'm Not on the Loan & Not Married?
- Do I Report the Sale of an Inherited Home?
- How Does Inheritance Tax Work?
- Will Your Husband Inherit Your House if You Own One and Die?
- How Can I Protect My Assets Separately From My Husband?
- How to Close Bank Accounts After a Death