Do stepchildren count as heirs to unclaimed property?

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Do stepchildren count as heirs to unclaimed property?

My aunt passed away and my brother and I are the only legal relatives left. However, the obituary states she has stepchildren and the state will not release the money unless I have them sign off. I have no clue where they live or how to connect. How should I proceed with claiming my aunt’s money it doesn’t seem like the state should hold the assets?

Asked on August 13, 2013 under Estate Planning, Minnesota


Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Hello. iI am sorry for the loss of your aunt. When you do not know the whereabouts of persons who must receive notice, then alternative means of service will be in issue. You need to follow all of the rules of state and local court in addressing this matter. There are specific rules as to how to give notice. I suggest you confer privately with an attorney at this time.  Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in a limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.




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Matthew Majeski / Majeski Law, LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to follow proper probate procedures.  This includes providing notice to all interested parties.  If you don't know where someone is, you may request that the court allow you to provide notice by publication.  If you're not sure how to do this, I suggest finding a local estate planning lawyer.

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