Assets are considered 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 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 – insurance companies, banks, brokerages, trade and credit unions, employers and utilities – transfer them to the protective custody of a government trust account in a process known as escheat.
Escheat typically occurs with name changes after marriage or divorce, expiration of a postal forwarding order after a move, as a result of computer and clerical errors, and most commonly, upon death. Relatives are often unaware they’re entitled to collect assets owed deceased family members. While holders of unclaimed funds may make a good-faith effort to track down claimants, it’s a near-impossible task due to the sheer numbers involved. It is imperative, therefore, that you initiate a search.
Be advised a number of professional unclaimed asset tracers specialize in locating owners of unclaimed money and abandoned assets before they are remitted to government custody. Have you been contacted by a professional asset tracer demanding 25% or more to recover unclaimed money? Since pre-escheat assets don’t immediately show up in unclaimed property databases, they can be difficult to locate. It is often possible, however, to find unclaimed money by going directly to sources used by professional asset tracers.
For assistance with a lost life insurance policy go to: Life Insurance Policy Search.
To search for unclaimed funds and obtain information on claiming pre-escheat assets owed you or a deceased family member, complete the form below.