Unclaimed Property (Part 2)
Earlier, we began to discuss how to claim your own Unclaimed Property (See Part 1 on Unclaimed Property here).
But what if the owner of the Unclaimed Property is deceased?
The process is still very simple, and similar to the process described above, but with some extra documentation required.
Be aware that only the Executor or the Administrator of the decedent’s Estate can claim the escheated property.
You will follow the same steps as described above, but on the webpage where you put in the person’s information, select “deceased” for the item “Your relationship to name on property.”
Within a few weeks of submitting your claim online, you will receive a letter from the State explaining what they need to process your claim. You will have to submit the following documentation:
- Claimant Information Page (This will come with the letter. It must be signed and notarized.);
- Property Detail for the property you are intending to include in your claim (This will also come with the letter. Check off which property you are making a claim for.);
- Proof of Reported Address (e.g., a bank statement);
- a copy of the decedent’s Death Certificate;
- an updated Surrogate Certificate for the decedent; and
- any other documentation requested in the letter you receive.
If you need a Death Certificate, contact the Vital Statistics Bureau of the town in which the decedent died. A certified copy of a Death Certificate is fifteen ($15.00) dollars.
To obtain an updated Surrogate Certificate, simply write to the Surrogate’s Court in the county in which the decedent was domiciled and request an updated Certificate. Enclose a check for five ($5.00) dollars for the updated Certificate, payable to the “(fill in the county) County Surrogate.”
When you have gathered all the necessary documentation, mail everything to the address given to you in the letter from the State.
If the Unclaimed Property Administration needs any other information to process your claim, they will send you a letter describing what they need.
Once everything is processed, you will receive a check for the property you have just claimed. This must be distributed according to the terms of the decedent’s Will, the laws of intestacy, or to the beneficiary/ies named on the account, whichever is applicable.
Even if you don’t think you or your family members have missing money, it is still a good idea to check periodically—it takes a matter of seconds, and you may be pleasantly surprised.