Some executors worry about not locating funds and property that belong to an estate. Ideally, a decedent would have left papers detailing where their assets are. Still, sometimes an executor has to check for missing items, such as unclaimed property.
The state of Ohio has a process for keeping uncollected assets safe until the owner or a personal representative can claim them. As executor, you may acquire unclaimed property to return it to the estate.
How unclaimed property works
According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, sometimes money and other property go unclaimed or even abandoned. There may be no success in contacting the owner. In such cases, the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Unclaimed Funds may take possession of the assets and try to locate their rightful owner.
The state can keep many kinds of property. Common examples include a bank account, uncashed checks and insurance policies, credit balances, rent deposits and stock certificates.
Making a claim
The Ohio Department of Commerce maintains a website where you can search for uncollected property. You will need to provide information about the decedent, including their name, last known address and social security number. Make sure you have the necessary documentation to verify your authority as the executor.
After finding unclaimed property, you can initiate the claim process. This typically involves filling out a claim form and providing supporting documents, such as a death certificate, proof of your status as the executor and other relevant information. You may need to provide more documents or information as needed.
Distributing unclaimed property
Once you have successfully claimed the property, it becomes a part of the estate. You can then distribute it to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will or the laws of intestate succession if there is no will.
According to an April 2023 report by Cinciannti.com, Ohio has more than $3.9 billion in unclaimed funds, plus Ohio residents have successfully collected over $104 million from the state between January and April of 2023. Given these facts, Ohio executors should not discount the possibility of unclaimed estate assets in the hands of the state government.