Lost and Found: Finding What Your Loved One Left Behind

Finding forgotten assets is one of the most daunting tasks for anyone managing an estate. If you’ve been named an executor or administrator, being thorough in your search is crucial, but it can be a complicated process. You might feel overwhelmed about where to start or unsure how to make sure you’ve found everything that needs to be transferred.

If this sounds familiar, don’t worry—you’re in the right place! For a quick overview of the most essential places to look, links to the best search tools, and more about how Sunny Care Services can help, check out the roadmap we’ve put together below.

#1 Start Searching for Missing Assets at Home 

The best place to start your search is at the deceased’s home, or wherever they may have received mail or stored personal documents and files. It can also be helpful to contact close family members and friends- they might have more information about certain assets and can point you in the right direction. 

Where to Search & What to Look For

Financial Docs

  • Bank statements, tax returns, and emails or mail that might have clues about pension, insurance policies, and other assets.

Personal Docs & Safe Deposit Box

  • Keys or receipts indicating ownership of a safe deposit box, personal files related to insurance policies, stocks, bonds, or other investments.
  • Locate any property titles or deeds to real estate.

Who to Contact

Financial Institutions & Employers

  • Banks and credit unions, former employers, and insurance companies

Family & Friends

  • Ask loved ones about any shared investments, personal loans, or personal collections that the deceased may have had

#2 Look Online: Internet Research Tips & Free Search Tools

Luckily, there are many  free search tools and online databases out there that can help you track down missing assets. Take a look at the resources we’ve compiled below:

Type of AssetFREE online search tools:
Retirement benefitsNational Registry of Unclaimed Benefits Search by SSN
401k investment plansAbandoned Plan Search (EBSA.gov) Search by name of plan or employer name
ASK EBSA – Get Help Now Questions about a retirement or health benefits plan? Visit the Employee Benefits Security Administration page to contact a Benefits Advisor over the phone or via online chat
Pension plansPension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC.gov) Search by name of plan
Life insurance policiesNAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator Submit a search request
Savings bondsTreasury Hunt (treasurydirect.gov) Search by name or SSN/EIN
Tax returnsIRS.gov – Refunds Request a tax record (transcript) online or request a copy of a tax record/transcript by mail
Unclaimed Property (held by the state)Missing Money Search all of the states you or your loved one has ever lived in. Check periodically – the association refreshes their data regularly.

#3-Let Sunny Help

In addition to assisting our clients with all the searches above, Sunny also utilizes a tool called Trustate in our searches for clients. Trustate, among many other service offerings, is a comprehensive search tool which aggregates multiple databases to find assets in a lost loved one’s name like forgotten bank accounts, forgotten stocks, forgotten retirement accounts, etc. It is an amazing tool we are able to utilize with all of our After Loss Support clients to ensure a thorough search of the lost loved one’s name is complete and all assets are accounted for before an estate closes.

Reach out to Sunny Care Services for more information.

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