Do you need to find lost funds and assets?
Many people have faced the issue of locating the assets of a deceased person to settle their financial affairs, when the deceased has not left any records.
A good starting point is to search through files, safe deposit boxes and personal possessions. If available, check bank and credit card statements for evidence of payments to life insurance policies, super accounts, dividends and investments. Income tax return statements and address books can also provide information.
Check with the employee benefits administrators of the deceased’s former employers to see if any group life insurance policies are still in effect, or if they purchased additional voluntary coverage at work. Unions, professional associations and other groups also make life insurance available to members.
You can directly contact the relevant financial institutions if known, who will be able to assist.
To locate shares, bank accounts or life insurance policies, you can perform a free search on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) MoneySmart website
In certain situations an employer may owe a deceased employee wages but were unable to pay them, if the deceased’s next-of-kin could not be contacted. These wages are then lodged with the Fair Work Ombudsmen (FWO) and held in trust until the ‘estate’ lodges a claim. For more information, please visit: Fair Work Ombudsmen
If you are the Executor of a Will you didn’t know about, the State Governments hold unclaimed money from deceased estates and can be contacted via the list below.
There may also be lost money through rent and rental bonds, overpayments, trust money, premiums, royalties and proceeds of sale. All these are held with State Governments, and if the State Revenue Office isn’t responsible for the particular type of lost money, it can refer you to the relevant agency. You can find a list of these authorities on the (ASIC) MoneySmart website.
State Revenue Offices:
Queensland – Public Trustee of Queensland.
Australian Capital Territory – Public Trustee for the ACT.
Victoria – State Revenue Office Victoria.
Northern Territory – Northern Territory Department of Treasury
Tasmania – Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance
Western Australia – WA Department of Treasury
If you don’t have the time nor resources to conduct your own search for ‘unclaimed monies or assets’, there are businesses that provide a service to find any lost or forgotten money and assets of a deceased person. They usually charge a percentage fee on any monies found – so be sure to establish this percentage figure before entering into any agreements.
They will conduct searches of all major Australian banks, superannuation accounts, share registries etc on your behalf.