Find Out How You Can Claim the Unclaimed Funds of a Deceased Relative

Johnnie Padberg
Published Apr 8, 2024

Find Out How You Can Claim the Unclaimed Funds of a Deceased Relative



When a loved one dies, their estate is supposed to go through a legal process known as probate. 

This transfers ownership of assets to the deceased's beneficiaries.

Sometimes, things don't go as planned — bills go unpaid, the property goes unclaimed, and the money disappears.

In many cases, this lost money that belongs to the deceased's relatives is left waiting for withdrawal.

 

Is It Possible To Access The Unclaimed Funds?

There is an estimated $49 billion in unclaimed money and assets in the US alone.

This money comes from various sources:
  • forgotten bank accounts
  • life insurance policies
  • stock holdings
The process of claiming this money can be quite complex, but it is worth it if you are entitled to funds.

First step: check if your relatives have left behind unclaimed money.

One of the best places to start is the Social Security Death Index.

This database contains information on over 80 million deceased individuals in the United States.

Another good place to look for is death records.

If you know where your relative lived when they passed away, you can search for their death record in your local county clerk's office. 

This will tell you:
  • the name of your relative
  • their birth date and place
  • their parents' names
  • the location of their burial
You can then use this information to search for unclaimed money in that state.

If you find money that belongs to you, the next step is to contact the state agency that handles unclaimed money.

In some cases, you may be able to claim the funds online.

If not, you will need to fill out a form, mail it in with a copy of identification, and wait for the processing of funds.

 

Claimable Financial Assets




Here are the main types of claimable financial assets of deceased relatives:
 
  1. Bank accounts: Most bank accounts have a designated beneficiary who accesses the funds after the account holder dies.
     
  2. Investments: Investment accounts usually have a designated beneficiary who inherits the investments upon the account holder's death.
     
  3. Life insurance policies: A life insurance policy typically has a beneficiary who is given the payout upon the policyholder's death.
     
  4. Retirement accounts: Retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs typically have beneficiaries who are given the payout upon the accountholder's death.
 

Claiming Procedure




The best way to find any unclaimed money meant for you is to search the National Unclaimed Property Database.

The easiest way to find out if you have any unclaimed money is to enter your name and state.

If you don't see anything, try entering your Social Security number or driver's license number.

If there is unclaimed money for you, it will show up in a list of claimable assets.

You may also find information about an owner if their name is included in the listing.

Contact the holding state or local government agency to claim the money. 

 

Wrapping Up


When a loved one dies, their final affairs are often not completed, including the filing of a death claim with the appropriate government office.

This can leave money and property unclaimed.

If you are a deceased person's relative, it is worth checking to see if they have any unclaimed money.

There's a good chance they left behind some funds that's just waiting for a claim.

Follow the steps outlined above, and you should be able to find those unclaimed assets and honor your relative's final wishes.


Read more:
The State By State Guide To Unclaimed Assets
Do You Have Unclaimed Funds? Here's How To Find Out

 

Related Articles

Discover Your Hidden Treasure: Reclaiming Lost Funds in California...

California’s Unclaimed Property Law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, corporations, businesses, and certain other entities to report and submit their customers’ propert...

Discover Your Hidden Treasure: Reclaiming Lost Funds in Texas...

Texas’s Unclaimed Property Law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, corporations, businesses, and certain other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to the S...

Discover Your Hidden Treasure: Reclaiming Lost Funds in Florida...

Florida’s Unclaimed Property Law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, corporations, businesses, and certain other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to t...

Discover Your Hidden Treasure: Reclaiming Lost Funds in Ohio...

Ohio’s Unclaimed Property Law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, corporations, businesses, and certain other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to the Sta...

Discover Your Hidden Treasure: Reclaiming Lost Funds in Georgia...

Georgia’s Unclaimed Property Law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, corporations, businesses, and certain other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to t...

Discover Your Hidden Treasure: Reclaiming Lost Funds in Illinois...

Did you know that the Illinois State Treasurer's Office is currently safeguarding over $3.5 billion in unclaimed funds?  Thiese forgotten assets awaits their rightful owners, whether they be:...