How to find unclaimed inheritance

Updated April 13, 2018

According to information published by, unclaimed inheritance in America totals several billion dollars and millions of people are unaware that they are owed money left to them by deceased relatives. Life insurance policies are one of the most overlooked forms of inheritance since many people are unaware of the policies held by their loved ones at the time of death. When assets remain unclaimed long enough to be declared dormant by their state of origin, they are transferred to a government trust account called an escheat. There are a few simple ways to find out if you have unclaimed money from an inheritance waiting for you to claim.

Visit the state websites of any state where your deceased relative lived or conducted business. The state's revenue or treasury department may maintain a website allowing you to search for and claim funds in their trust. You can go online to for links to the various state websites for unclaimed property.

Hire an inheritance lawyer to search state trusts for you. This is the most expensive way to learn if you have unclaimed inheritance. An experienced inheritance lawyer already knows how to get through the red tape and paperwork that may accompany an inheritance search.

Locate the estate attorney who handled your deceased relative's will. Ask the executor of the will, friends and family for information about the attorney. The estate attorney will maintain records of the will for many years and can help you learn how to claim funds that have been declared dormant.

Search the Internet for sites that assist in locating unclaimed money without charge, such as The Final Arrangements Network. There are many sites that assist citizens in learning if they have unclaimed money, where that money is being held and what they can do to claim it.


Do not pay a fee to an Internet site claiming to help you locate unclaimed funds. While nominal fees may be charged by the state for paperwork and forms, finding if you have unclaimed funds and where they are can be done through many free and reputable Internet sources.

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About the Author

Jo Burns has been a freelance writer since 1980. She specializes in articles relating to home and garden, alternative health care, travel, writing and crafting. In 2007, Burns received an M.F.A. in creative writing.