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Belongings and No Heirs? Contact the Unclaimed Property Division - Estate Planning and Administration News

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Estate Planning and Administration News

Posted on: Oct 19, 2020

This information was recently shared by Jeffrey Dible of Frost Brown Todd LLC to the IndyBar Estate Planning & Administration Section listserv.

If your client has had an investigation (including an heir search) and is satisfied that the deceased resident had NO heirs (not even distant biological relatives such as second cousins), then I suggest that you contact the Unclaimed Property Division of the Indiana Attorney General’s office. That Division is effectively in charge of the process of receiving property that “escheats” to the State of Indiana under I.C. § 29-1-2-1.    See I.C. § 29-1-17-12 (which applies to unclaimed assets of an estate already “open”) and also the “Unclaimed Property Act,” I.C. 32-34-1, especially the definition of “property” in § 32-34-1-17.
The Unclaimed Property Division will accept unclaimed property in the form of money or other intangible assets, and the Division does hold auctions from time to time, and  but to my knowledge, I doubt that it will accept in-kind delivery of personal belongings or a motor vehicle.  Division personnel should be able to confirm this.  Although the Attorney General should be able to use a small estate affidavit to receive delivery of the decedent’s property, the A.G. may not be willing to do that.  It might be necessary for the facility to petition to have someone appointed as personal representative in order to have authority to sell the personal property that can be sold and to abandon or discard what cannot be sold.  Then the remaining net sales proceeds (after administration expenses) could be turned over to the State Treasurer under I.C. § 29-1-17-12.

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