What Is an Unclaimed Inheritance and How to Claim It

Unclaimed Inheritance

A person is said to have died “intestate” if they pass away without leaving a will. Regarding what happens to a person’s assets when they pass away intestate, each state has its own set of rules. But there are certain general principles. Keep reading to find out what happens to assets when a person passes away intestate or without a legal heir.

What causes an inheritance to go unclaimed?

How is it possible to start with an unclaimed inheritance? Bank accounts, financial assets, and other unaccounted-for riches may disappear after a person’s passing, particularly if they had a history of bad financial management or neglected to monitor their investments and net worth in the final years of their lives. It’s possible that they failed to mention these assets in their will and failed to designate a beneficiary for them. Or they failed to name a secondary beneficiary and their primary beneficiary died or vanished without leaving behind any heirs to receive their new inheritance. Everything we owned during our life must be divided among the living after we pass away. To be sure that there’s a strategy in place for the administration and distribution of our assets if we pass away, we still have a lot of responsibility to keep track of what we own.

How can you get your unclaimed inheritance returned?

There are a few options available to you if you’re aware that you could be a beneficiary of an unclaimed will. Find out which business owns the unclaimed asset first and see if you can identify it. You can obtain the asset straight from the business if it hasn’t yet entered escheatment or been given to your state. Although the laws governing these attempts differ from state to state, these holders are compelled by law to make an effort to get in touch with owners regarding their property. Examining the decedent’s mail could lead you to some unclaimed property. Whether or not someone is aware of an unclaimed inheritance or is unsure whether their inheritance has been given to the state government, they can use the second technique. Visit the website run by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators to simply look for unclaimed inheritances (NAUPA).

Interstate succession

The asset will often be distributed to the nearest viable kin by local intestate legislation if an inheritance is left unclaimed or disclaimed (i.e., a person chooses not to take their inheritance). The distribution of assets in the absence of a will or other estate planning instruments is known as intestate succession. A disclaimer may compel an executor to select a different beneficiary for an item even if it’s mentioned in a will because intestate succession requires them to do so. In some states and jurisdictions, the term “next of kin” can only be used a particular number of times before it expires.

Implementing a locator service

Some companies will look for unclaimed inheritance funds on your behalf in exchange for a charge. It makes more sense to undertake the search yourself unless you have cause to believe that there’s a sizable amount of unclaimed money out there or your loved one resided abroad. On its website, NAUPA states that the majority of abandoned accounts contain relatively little money. The state will assist you through the procedure to claim any funds that you do find to be yours. The usual requirements are your Social Security number and evidence that you’re the legal heir.

Finally, even while it’s simple enough to look for unclaimed inheritance money on your own, there may be circumstances in which engaging a specialist or lawyer who focuses on finding an unclaimed property is worthwhile.

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