Saturday’s New York Times contained an article of interest. The New York socialite Brooke Astor apparently has bank accounts at CitiBank that have not yet been discovered by the executor of her estate – despite the fact that she died in 2007. You can see the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/nyregion/abandoned-brooke-astor-bank-accounts-surface-in-ad.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntemail1=y
The article reminds us that even the wealthiest and those with accountants and lawyers working for them still sometimes overlook what can be valuable assets. The above article references one abandoned account with the New York Comptroller’s office that is valued at more than $1.7 million!
In Florida, you can find lost assets from forgotten and abandoned bank accounts, securities, dividends that didn’t make it to you, and other unclaimed assets listed by Florida’s Chief Financial Officer at www.FLTreasureHunt.org.
If you are the personal representative (executor) of a probate estate, or the successor trustee for a revocable living trust, you have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiares of the estate to locate all of the assets belonging to the decedent or the trust. Your failure to do so could result in a claim being made against you as personal representative or trustee for breach of your fiduciary duty by failing to locate such assets.
Reviewing the unclaimed property list for all the states of residence of decedents and trustmakers should be on every fiduciary checklist.
Every person participating in the preparation of an application for Medicaid benefits should also review the unclaimed property list to avoid filing an application with inaccurate information.
If you need the assistance of a Florida probate lawyer or a Medicaid planning elder law attorney, please let us know.
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