Unclaimed property may indicate beneficiaries who don't even know it

Aug 04, 2011

There are ways for beneficiaries to claim assets that are rightfully theirs.

Life insurance policyholders should have beneficiaries in mind when they open their accounts. But even if heirs aren't sure, there are ways to locate property that should rightfully have gone to them after the passing of a loved one.

"New York alone has received roughly $400,287,736 in unclaimed life insurance policies since 2000," Vanessa Lockel, spokesperson for the Office of the State Comptroller told the Wall Street Journal. Of those assets only $65 million has been refunded.

Agencies often employ "tracers" to track down people who have property that for whatever reason didn't reach them immediately, but those who suspect certain assets belong to them can also pay for retrieval.

Several online portals also facilitate hunts for inherited possessions, including missingmoney.com and Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp's personal database.

Any holes or misinformation in insurance procedures may soon be at an end, though, with the partnering of Keane with Cross Country Computer Corporation, two of the country's largest unclaimed property data services. Individuals are nonetheless encouraged to file a claim with a local unclaimed property office.

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