Missing Asset Search: Trace a Lost Inheritance
Assets become legally abandoned after the original owners or rightful heirs fail to ‘communicate an interest’ in them over a period of time. The period of time that must pass before an asset is considered legally abandoned – the ‘dormancy period’ – is set by law. It varies with the type of property involved, but generally runs one to five years.
If, at the end of the dormancy period, there has been no owner directed activity, those holding the assets transfer them to the protective custody of a government trust account in a process known as escheat. Government custodians recently collected $22.8 billion in forgotten or abandoned monies in a single year, of which just $916 million was claimed by owners or heirs.
Most people have no idea they’re entitled to collect a share of billions of dollars in unclaimed money sitting in government coffers. Think it couldn’t be you? Think again! You may have simply forgotten about a savings account or an unredeemed savings bond. Perhaps records were lost after a move, or due to theft, fire or flood. Maybe you never even knew you were named an heir in a relative’s will or beneficiary in a deceased family member’s life insurance policy!
If you’ve moved, taken a new job, or changed name after marriage or divorce, it may be difficult to locate you. And sometimes heirs can be declared ‘missing’ as a result of computer or clerical errors, or even after the expiration of a forwarding order from the post office.
To search for unclaimed property and abandoned assets complete the form below.