One of the services we offer is looking for the beneficiaries of dormant or orphan funds.
Dormant or orphan funds apply to bank or other savings accounts where there has been no financial activity for a long period of time (15 years) – other than the posting of interest.
The funds can be claimed by the owner or beneficiary (if the owner has died, for example) at any time and they are part of a persons estate. Dormant funds can include savings accounts, life insurance policies, trust funds, and stocks and shares.
It is surprisingly common for people to forget about accounts that they own and there are thought to be billions of pounds lying unclaimed in accounts that have been forgotten all about – £15 billion according to moneysupermarket.com.
If a person dies intestate, monies and bank accounts are transferred to the State if no rightful heirs can be found or if a bank account remains inactive for a period of time and all efforts to trace the account holder have been made. Once an account has been identified as dormant, the money is moved to a central fund and usually distributed to good causes – but if you suddenly remembered an old account, then the money can be transferred back to you.
People lose track of various accounts and pension schemes they may have joined for a variety of reasons. If they have moved house a number of times, they might have forgotten to re-direct mail. In addition, recent years have seen many changes to the bank/building society industry.
Perhaps you opened an account with one bank which has since merged with another. Or it could be that a kindly aunt or uncle opened a saving account for you when you were a child and they still have the original paperwork, or the paperwork has been misplaced. Another reason for forgotten accounts can be name changes, such as when a woman gets married and the accounts are held in her old name.
Dormant accounts do not usually pay rewarding amounts of interest – which is why its important to retrieve money sitting in them so that you or your beneficiaries can make better use of the money.
If you do want to find an account that belonged to a relative or friend who has died, and left you money in their will, you will be able to do this as long as you can prove your identity and demonstrate that you are the rightful heir to the money.
The length of time it will take to track down your savings usually depends on how much information you’ve been able to provide – the more information, the better obviously. If you’re searching for unclaimed Premium Bond prizes, you can enter the account number into the online prize-checker on the NS&I website.
If you think you have lost touch with your account, or if there is an account in someone else’s name to which you think you may be entitled, then please get in touch with us. Finders International offers a bespoke service to companies or individuals who want to trace the rightful heirs to unclaimed, so-called orphan funds or dormant accounts.
To discuss how you can resolve your situation, please contact us.