Being the executor for someone's estate can be a daunting task. I teach a class on this subject a few times a year for a local continuing ed program. One thing I run into every time is this: An executor finds old stock certificates in desk drawers and $20 bills hidden in the pages of books while cleaning off the shelves. They will spend months collecting the mail in an attempt to determine where any assets may be held. The goal is to be sure all assets are distributed before closing out the estate. One thing you may also want to do is check the Unclaimed Funds Website. It's simple to get started. Just type in a last name and see if anything comes up. I offer this tip because it is typically much easier to make a claim while the estate is open than after it has been closed. Below is a list of things you may find:

  • Savings Accounts
  • Checking Accounts
  • Uncashed Checks
  • Telephone/Utility Deposits
  • Rental Security Deposits
  • Wages
  • Insurance Benefits/Policies
  • Safe Deposit Box Contents
  • Mortgage Insurance Refunds
  • Stocks and Dividends
  • Mutual Funds
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • Trust Funds

Aside from being a useful tool for an executor, it can be fun to type in the names of friends or family members to see if you can find some long lost money for them.

Sam DiNorma

(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).