A properly formed and executed estate plan can ensure loved ones benefit from all a decedent’s property once they pass.
Unfortunately, not everyone can perfectly manage their assets and make the proper arrangements to pass them on with little effort. Sometimes, valuable property can fall through the cracks.
During the probate process, the families of the deceased might not be able to identify all of the estate’s property. This scenario is particularly common when someone dies intestate.
In 2022 alone, property worth over $1 billion came into the possession of the State of Texas. A vast majority of this property goes unclaimed every year. If a loved one passed on recently, it may be worth checking if they have any property waiting for their heirs to claim.
How Do You Claim Unclaimed Property?
The first step towards claiming unclaimed property is finding it. You can search for unclaimed property on the Division of Texas Comptroller’s unclaimed property page. Simply search using your loved one’s name or the name of their business.
Once an heir finds the property, there are additional steps they must take. To start, the heir must obtain a death certificate and proof of social security number for the deceased.
If the deceased had a probated will, their heirs must also get a copy of the will and the Order Admitting to Probate. If the estate is closed, heirs would also need closing documents.
Further documents required for an heir to claim unclaimed property can differ depending on the property’s value and other factors. Documents heirs might need include the following:
- Affidavits of Heirship,
- Small Estate Affidavits of Heirship, or
- Judicial Determinations of Heirship.
An experienced estate planning attorney from Massingill Attorneys & Counselors at Law can help you identify and obtain the documents necessary to claim unclaimed property as an heir.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Property of a Deceased Person?
Legal heirs of the deceased can claim unclaimed property from a decedent’s estate in Texas. An experienced estate attorney can help you identify whether you can claim a deceased loved one’s unclaimed property.
What Happens When You Claim Unclaimed Property?
Once the Division of the Texas Comptroller has approved a claim for unclaimed property, the heir must follow state-mandated procedures to take ownership of the property.
These procedures can include filing petitions in court. An estate lawyer can help you comply with the necessary procedures and file any required petitions.
How Long Does It Take to Claim Unclaimed Property?
The processes involved in claiming the unclaimed property of a deceased person can take weeks or months. An estate attorney from Massingill can help ensure the process keeps moving and help minimize the amount of time it might take.
Massingill Attorneys and Counselors at Law Can Help
Claiming the unclaimed property of a deceased loved one is often a long and complicated process. Once you identify the property, other steps often require dealing with Texas courts and legal processes.
Massingill will provide straightforward and timely advice while helping you complete all necessary procedures. Our experienced estate attorneys in Austin will handle the critical details for a reasonable flat fee. Contact us today and schedule a consultation.