Do you loose an inheritance after 42 years unclaimed?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 02, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Do you loose an inheritance after 42 yrs unclaimed?

Expert Answers

You want to know if you lose an inheritance after it has not been claimed for forty-two years. That depends on the law of the state where the person lived and died who left the inheritance. Aside from general inheritance laws and time limits for claiming inherited property, almost all states have laws that provide that unclaimed property without clear legal heirs (as defined by that state's laws), will be forfeited to the state after a set time. The legal terms for this is that the property "escheats" to the state. [One of my favorite terms of legalese.]

I can't tell if it would be worthwhile for you to hire a lawyer in the state of the person who left the inheritance to see if you can still claim that inheritance. Probably, you'd be wasting your money. Common sense indicates to me that forty-two years is too long to wait. But if the inheritance is substantial, you might invest in a long-shot ,and see what a lawyers says.