Another reason to hate banks

Personal Finance

Personal Finance (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

As if we need one more reason to hate banks and their fees, here’s an incredible story for you about estate planning mistakes.

Let’s start with my grandmother. She was sort of crazy…

She was sure that my grandfather was cheating on her. She swears that she caught him. Now maybe he did cheat – but she chose to stay with him. At this point he was in his 70’s. Not likely that he would still be running around.

Anyway, she was obsessed with hiding her money so that if she died first, my grandfather and his girlfriend couldn’t live the high life on her money. He died first.

Through another unfortunate series of events, all of her assets went to the nursing home. Her trustee emptied all of her accounts and pretty much handed it over. But every once in a while, a life insurance policy shows up in unclaimed property. Little policies, but hey.

So, this latest one listed the Bank as her address, and as the beneficiary.

Now the bank says that she did have a trust that was closed years ago. The file is in a tomb in Egypt somewhere. (Not really, but might as well have been.)

OK, get this. For them to go and get the file so we can all see what this is all about will cost us $195 an hour! They say its the same anywhere, and it probably is. They all rip you off just the same. Can you believe it? $195 per hour!? They estimate it will take 10 hours if there are no other complications. That’s half of the proceeds – gone.

Its not fair, but there’s not a thing we can do about it. My grandmother thought she was protecting her money.

Of course the other moral of the story is that lies and deceptions never turn out well, but that’s another story.

Otherwise, claiming unclaimed property is pretty straight forward if you have every document. If not, you’ll spend time and money collecting all the documents you need, but otherwise its pretty easy.

You should always check if you think that you might have a relative that may have named you as a beneficiary. The insurance companies are not going to put a lot of effort into finding you. I wouldn’t pay for searches. So many scams out there.

And you should have a record of all of your policies so that your beneficiaries actually get the money. As a matter of fact, you should have a binder that describes all of your assets and policies and where your loved ones can find all of the information they will need. Don’t keep the wills and documents in the binder, or in the house for that matter.

Anyway, I thought you might find this weird story interesting and maybe useful.

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