You have probably never really considering having a relative long-lost leave you hundreds or even thousands of dollar behind in inheritance money. Guess what though; it happens often. It might seem like a dream to you, but the fact of the matter is, many people out there discover that they have long-lost relatives who have left them inheritance funds or other types of financial assets. You can take a closer look at inheritance funds and what happens to them after a time. You can also check to see just how you can find any unclaimed money in your name. Who knows, you might be one of the many who finds out that they have money in their name that they had no idea even existed.
How Does an Inheritance Begin?
When someone passes away, they may or may not have a will. If they do, typically, it will contain information about the heir such as their full, legal name, address, and possibly even their social security number. Unfortunately, not every will is detailed enough, and it usually stems from the wills being made at home rather than with an attorney. Details about the heir can change just as quickly as death. People might move away, or they may change their name, which typically happens with marriages and divorces. If money is left to a parent that has died, it is possible for their adult children to acquire their entire estate. In these cases, it can be difficult to find the rightful heirs for any level of fortune, and all of these factors come into play.
What Happens to the Inheritance?
Often, attorneys or even executors will work to track down the rightful heirs to any inheritance. This process can be long and tedious, and it sometimes doesn’t pay off. Since the money cannot be transferred to any other beneficiaries in the will legally, it has to go somewhere. The state cannot assume the legal collection of the money unless the heir has passed away as well. So where does it go? Usually, the inheritance money left unclaimed goes to a state department called the unclaimed fund's department. It will remain here until someone can prove that they are the legal heir to this money. Every state has their funds department like this as well, and it is always responsible for keeping track of the funds, refunds, investments, unclaimed payroll checks, and inheritance money. The state department will try to locate you if you are an heir, but they are not going to go out of their way to do so. What you need to do, is making an effort to locate the funds yourself.
Locating the Money
You might be wondering how to take that next step and locate your unclaimed inheritance funds. You can start by contacting your state department that handles any unclaimed inheritances. You should keep in mind that each state has their department, which means there is no national database for these types of issues. If you want to search online, you can jump on a state department website, since many are equipped with searchable databases. Starting with the states where most of your family lives or has lived, you might have better luck. Typically databases are updated every year or even every few months. It might be wise to check the databases often, so you don’t overlook any funds in your name. If you decide not to do the research yourself, you can hire a contractor through a third party to do the work for you. These professional services do cost money, though.
It might sound far-fetched or ridiculous, but unclaimed inheritance money is a possible asset that could be in your name. It might sound silly to consider a relative leaving you a large fortune, but it is not so ridiculous to consider any unclaimed refunds or assets that have been overlooked. State databases are put into place so that you can easily search for these assets linked to your name, your Social Security number, or even your former addresses. You never know what you might be missing out there, and it might be more than you think.