Every state has an office of unclaimed property. Typically, the state treasurer handles this function. The state treasurer keeps a list of names of those persons whose property has been “escheated” to the state treasury and the “holders” which were required to file a report and transfer the property to the state. Insurance companies, as holders, must transfer amounts due and unclaimed under insurance policies after the expiration of a specified “dormancy period.” For life insurance, the dormancy period (often 3 years) begins when the insurance company receives notice of death or the policy matures or endows. Searching the unclaimed property records under the name of a decedent in each state where he or she resided may prove to be productive.
A national database of unclaimed property from state treasurers’ offices.
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) lists links to many individual state unclaimed property listings.
Missing Life Insurance Unclaimed Property Benefits & Demutualization Payments tracks mutual insurance companies that have demutualized. Mutual life policyholders (and heirs) continue to be entitled to receive whatever policy benefits may be due, but in addition may receive stock, cash and/or policy credits in exchange for their ownership interest in the old mutual insurance company.