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

When a loved one dies, their estate is supposed to go through a legal process known as probate to transfer ownership of assets to the deceased's beneficiaries. However, sometimes things don't go as planned — bills go unpaid, the property goes unclaimed, and the money disappears. In many cases, this lost money belongs to the deceased's relatives and is left waiting for withdrawal.


Is It Possible To Access The Unclaimed Funds?

There is an estimated $41 billion in unclaimed money and assets in the US alone. This money comes from various sources, including forgotten bank accounts, life insurance policies, and stock holdings. Now, you may be wondering how to claim this money. The process can be quite complex, but it is worth it if you are entitled to funds.

The first step is to 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, so your relative will likely be in this database.

Another good place to look for relatives who may have died with unclaimed money is through 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. A death record will tell you the name of your relative, their birth date and place, their parents' names, and 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?

There are several ways to claim unclaimed money, depending on the type of financial asset. Some assets will require you to jump through a few hoops and fill out some paperwork, while others can be done in an instant without hassle.

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 as well. The beneficiary is typically the person 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 out if any unclaimed money is waiting for you is to search the National Unclaimed Property Database. This website is maintained by the United States government and allows you to search for unclaimed money in every state. There are several search options on the website, but 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. You'll need to contact the holding state or local government agency to claim the money. For example, if you have a certificate of deposit from a bank that has since closed, you'll need to contact your state banking department.


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.

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