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How to find assets after death

Updated April 17, 2017

Sometimes the assets of a deceased relative or friend become lost or go unclaimed for years. Often bank accounts, trusts, bonds and royalties can be missed. In order to claim property from a deceased individual, you must be a rightful beneficiary who is either mentioned in the will or is a legal heir. While trying to acquire assets of the deceased, you may wish to hire a lawyer or consult the deceased's close relatives in order to claim the assets as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Acquire the deceased individual's will. The will of the deceased individual is the most reliable and convenient way to find out where the deceased's assets will go. You may wish to hire a lawyer to interpret the will, especially if there is a dispute between relatives about who gets which assets and when.

Consult the deceased's executor. The deceased's executor is the person appointed, either by the deceased's will or by the government, to manage the deceased's assets and estate. The executor will interpret the will to determine who gets what assets. If there is no will, then the executor must interpret the state law to find the proper heirs of the deceased's assets.

Search for the deceased's unclaimed assets through Missing Money (see Resources). The Missing Money website, maintained by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, keeps information for 27 states on unclaimed assets such as bank accounts, deposits, bail bonds and royalties. If a search returns unclaimed assets, you can submit a claim of property through the website if you are the beneficiary of said assets.

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About the Author

April Lee started writing professionally in 2009. She is the marketing writer for an independently owned cheese business. She attended the University of North Texas and majored in English.