Unclaimed Funds on a Closed Estate?
August 8, 2008 7:24 PM Subscribe
How do I go about pursuing unclaimed funds in my deceased father's name? He died almost 28 years ago, had no Will and my parents were divorced. What's even more of a catch is that I'm not in contact with my mother (crazy non-med bipolar) or anyone on my father's side of the family (see below). So, I'm somewhat limited in what information I have with regard to his Estate.
posted by dancinglamb to Law & Government (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was fooling around with one of those unclaimed funds sites last night and happened upon both a bank account and an investment fund account in my father's name. He died in 1980 at the age of 44 without a Will, and the family aftermath was particularly ugly (divorced, both sides of the family hated each other, big fight over who was paying for what, who was getting the proceeds of the Estate, etc.).
Ultimately, the majority of the Estate was put into a Trust for both my brother and myself (we were 7 and 10 at the time). Not long after his passing, my mother somehow got the Court to allow her full access to the funds under the pretense of support (in addition to receiving Social Security) and blew *all* of it.
To my knowledge, one of my father's brothers, a lawyer, dealt with all the formalities of the Estate (I know that he was the one that went through all of his possessions, etc.). However, I've not been in contact with any of these people in nearly 30 years. They weren't friendly to me when he was alive, and certainly weren't after he was dead. I also don't think it's a great idea to call them out of the blue and ask for information only for them to find out it's because there's money involved, iykwim.
Upon my paternal grandmother's passing a few years ago, I did receive some paperwork belonging to my father. I seem to recall that one of the items was his death certificate, though I can't be certain. If I *do* have it, it's somewhere in the great abyss of my basement.
I looked online to see what I would need to get a new copy (he died in NYC), and among other things, they require his mother's maiden name and his father's first name. I have no clue as to what they were. I do, however, have his last address, birth and death dates, and his Social Security Number. I don't know if that is sufficient enough, and I don't know if they are going to require any sort of documentation to prove that there was no Will in place. I know that I'm also going to have to produce my own birth certificate to demonstrate that I am, in fact, his daughter.
I do not want to involve my mother in this at all. I've not spoken to her in years, and she will undoubtedly stake claim to whatever she can. I spent a few hours tonight doing searches online trying to find names/contact information for his parents, but no dice (my paternal grandfather died before I was born). The thought of just going to the cemetery and getting their names that way crossed my mind. At this point, it might be faster...
So, how do I do this? I don't even know how much money is in the accounts.
The unclaimed funds are in NY State, if it makes any difference.
Thanks for your input.