One of the biggest factors causing delays and increased cost is the inability to locate assets. We encourage our clients to have a list of their assets and where they are located, especially if you hide money. Otherwise, Goodwill or whoever buys your house will end up with the money. I actually heard someone on the radio telling people to buy silver bars and bury them in the backyard. One of our clients was cleaning out her mother’s freezer and was getting ready to throw out what she thought was meat wrapped in aluminum foil. She realized it didn’t weigh the right amount, so she opened up the foil and found thousands of dollars in “cold cash.”
Also, if you have paid up life insurance, be sure to tell your family. Five percent of life insurance policies that mature, meaning someone has died, go unclaimed. Most of the time the way your family will know you have life insurance is when they receive a premium notice.
I tell my clients who have lost a loved one to check the unclaimed funds in every state the loved one has lived in or might have opened bank accounts in. I recommend that they check them when the loved one passes away and then again 7 years later.
It makes it a lot easier on your family when they know where to find the assets. The list also gives them the assurance that they haven’t missed anything.