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Unclaimed funds

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Amelia299

Member
What is the name of your state? New York

Hi, I am writing on behalf of my father who is elderly and unable to do this himself. His brother passed away several years ago. Probate was completed and inheritance was distributed to family members.

Someone recently brought to his attention that unclaimed funds existed in the name of his brother, "Person a," and "Person b." The funds are listed as mutual funds/dividend reinvest book shares.

He asked me to notify the executor and Persons a and b, which I did (actually I was unable to locate Person b). After a couple weeks, nothing has been started to reclaim the funds.

His questions are:

1. How did the money become unclaimed if we assume the estate was properly handled? Perhaps this is common?
2. Can the executor claim the funds and not distribute it to Persons a and b? Specifically, keep it for his/herself?

I will be truthful with you guys, there is a fair amount of mistrust surrounding this matter. And I'd like to put his mind at ease.

Thanks in advance for your input.
 


PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
1. Things slip under the radar all the time. It is why the states all have the unclaimed funds systems.
2. Certainly not legally.
 

Amelia299

Member
1. Things slip under the radar all the time. It is why the states all have the unclaimed funds systems.
2. Certainly not legally.
Understood and thanks so much for your reply. I'm just curious though....how would that even work - the State sends a check to the executor in their name? And they in turn give it to the proper beneficiaries?
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Understood and thanks so much for your reply. I'm just curious though....how would that even work - the State sends a check to the executor in their name? And they in turn give it to the proper beneficiaries?
If the funds were listed in the name of brother, Person A and Person B (3 people) then most likely 1/3 of it would go directly to person A, 1/3 directly to person B, and 1/3 to the estate of the brother.

How much money are we talking about?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
If the funds were listed in the name of brother, Person A and Person B (3 people) then most likely 1/3 of it would go directly to person A, 1/3 directly to person B, and 1/3 to the estate of the brother.

How much money are we talking about?
...maybe.

Or, perhaps, the funds would be disbursed to all 3 at the same time, leaving each of them to figure the distribution out.
 

Amelia299

Member
If the funds were listed in the name of brother, Person A and Person B (3 people) then most likely 1/3 of it would go directly to person A, 1/3 directly to person B, and 1/3 to the estate of the brother.

How much money are we talking about?
Unfortunately, no idea of the $ amount. The State would send three checks?
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
...maybe.

Or, perhaps, the funds would be disbursed to all 3 at the same time, leaving each of them to figure the distribution out.
Yes, its possible that one check could be disbursed with all three names on it, although that seems unlikely. Its also possible that the money would belong solely to persons A and B if the account operates anything like a bank account.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Yes, its possible that one check could be disbursed with all three names on it, although that seems unlikely. Its also possible that the money would belong solely to persons A and B if the account operates anything like a bank account.
Fair enough.
 

paddywakk

Member
Here's what we had to do when we became aware of unclaimed funds left by my father: each of us heirs had to contact the CA state treasurer's office to obtain a form. Then we each had to complete the form, have our signature notarized, and return it with a copy of our birth certificate. There were 6 heirs,only four completed the process and each received 1/6 of the funds. Two-sixths are still being held for the other two
 

Amelia299

Member
Yes, its possible that one check could be disbursed with all three names on it, although that seems unlikely. Its also possible that the money would belong solely to persons A and B if the account operates anything like a bank account.
Fair enough.
So, this is difficult to express without disclosing sordid details. I guess I need to trust that the executor does the right thing here. Thank you!
 

Amelia299

Member
Here's what we had to do when we became aware of unclaimed funds left by my father: each of us heirs had to contact the CA state treasurer's office to obtain a form. Then we each had to complete the form, have our signature notarized, and return it with a copy of our birth certificate. There were 6 heirs,only four completed the process and each received 1/6 of the funds. Two-sixths are still being held for the other two
Thank you paddywakk!
 

Dandy Don

Senior Member
You may want to contact a private investigator to help you locate Person B.

Each state's procedures for unclaimed funds are different according to the requirements of state law.

If the executor doesn't start a claim, then contact the family members who received a distribution from the brother's estate so they can start a claim on their behalf.

You can start a claim for your father's share.

Here is the information for New York:

https://www.osc.state.ny.us/ouf/deceasedestates.htm
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Stephen1

Member
In response to "1. How did the money become unclaimed if we assume the estate was properly handled? Perhaps this is common? " Here are my thoughts:
The unclaimed amount could have pre-dated the death but not been reported to the state until after the estate was closed.
The existence of the mutual fund might not have been listed amount the deceased's assets (my father-in-law was adamant he didn't have an IRA but really did). Therefore the executor wouldn't know to chase it down.
 

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