Looking for the bank account of a deceased relative can be like looking for a needle in a haystack if you don't know where to begin. However, it is really not that difficult. To make your search easier and to get more cooperation from others during your search, you should have proof of your identity, proof of your relationship to the deceased, proof that you are over the relative's estate, and a copy of the relative's death certificate. If you don't have such documentation, you won't get much cooperation because of liability issues.
Look through your deceased relative's old files and documents for any bank paperwork or bank statements. Look through old purses and wallets for check stubs, deposit slips or ATM receipts. If you are aware of any safes the relative had you can check those as well.
Monitor the mailbox of your deceased relative if he has recently died. If he has a bank account, the bank will mail him a monthly statement, unless he elected not to receive paper statements.
Check with local charities or organizations such as churches that your deceased relative may have made regular monetary contributions to. If the contributions were made by check or automated recurring donations, the organization may know the name of the bank your relative banked with.
Contact the state treasurer for all of the states your deceased relative lived in. Ask to speak with the “Unclaimed Funds” department. Advise the department representative of your relative's name so he can search the unclaimed funds database. You can also search for your relative's unclaimed funds yourself on each state treasurer's website. If a bank account is found, you must submit a claim form to the state treasurer to claim the funds.
Items you will need
- Proof of ID
- Proof of estate ownership
- Death certificate
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