Unclaimed Inheritance from Wills
Currently, billions of dollars in unclaimed inheritance from Wills is sitting in government trust funds across the nation. Experts suggest millions of heirs are entitled to money and valuable assets left to them by a deceased relative or friend. The majority of assets go unclaimed simply because the beneficiary changed their name or moved from their residence.
The majority of unclaimed inheritance from Wills is generated from life insurance policies. Life insurance companies must be notified when the policyholder dies. If no one notifies the issuing company the policy sits dormant until claimed by rightful heirs
Another source of unclaimed inheritance stems from probate. Probate is the legal process used to validate the decedent's Last Will and Testament or determine rightful heirs if the decedent died intestate (without a Will).
Many people do not provide a copy of their Will to named beneficiaries while they are still alive. Therefore, most people are unaware of the fact they have been named in someone's Will. During the probate process, the estate executor must attempt to locate and notify heirs.
If Administrators are unable to track down beneficiaries, the assets are held by the state where the decedent resided for a specific period of time. By law, named beneficiaries must be given an opportunity to claim their inheritance.
The dormancy period for claiming inheritance from Wills is regulated by each individual state. In most states, this timeframe ranges from one to five years and is dependent upon the type of inheritance property involved.
Upon expiration of the dormancy period, unclaimed inheritance from Wills is transferred to a government trust account. This is known as the 'escheat' period. Last year, more than $22 billion of unclaimed assets were transferred to escheat. Of that amount, only $916 million worth of assets were claimed by beneficiaries.
There are two primary ways to track down unclaimed inheritance. One of the most popular is to hire a professional organization. These companies have access to nationwide databases and can usually find unclaimed assets more efficiently than individuals who try to locate them on their own.
The downside of using a professional organization is the fact that most charge a finder's fee which can amount to several thousand dollars. Many of these companies charge 30- to 40-percent of the total inheritence.
The second method for locating unclaimed money from Wills involves searching government databases. Most unclaimed inheritance property is held by each state's Department of Revenue. However, regulation of assets held in escheat can be managed by various state departments. Therefore, locating unclaimed money on your own can be a tedious process.
One trusted source for tracking down unclaimed inheritance from Wills is The Final Arrangements Network. Here you can locate unclaimed money resources for all 50 states free of charge.
We invite you to learn more about unclaimed money, inheritance, estate planning and more in our all-inclusive inheritance article library. We cover a wide range of life planning topics including personal money management, financial investments and real estate investing.
Last, but not least, if you are entitled to inheritance which is currently held in probate and are in need of cash for inheritance, contact Simon Volkov today to determine what options are available. In many instances, Simon can help you obtain a lump sum of cash in exchange for pending inheritance.
Published on December 30, 2008 at 10:30 AM | Comments: 1
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