(KMOV.com) – A Saint Louis woman is seeking answers after discovering $6,000 in unclaimed property and then finding out someone else beat her to the punch.
Mabel Massey has a lot of questions after finding a certificate of deposit her mother opened in 1994 at Pulaski Bank.
The certificate was made payable to Massey upon her mother’s death. Massey had no idea the CD existed until her granddaughter did an online unclaimed property search and saw her grandmother’s name.
After filling out a few forms, Massey received a certificate from the state treasurer. When she took the CD to Pulaski Bank, the bank had no record of it.
According to bank administrators, records like the ones for Massey’s CD only go back to 2002. Her mother died in 1996. The bank’s research indicates someone cashed the CD years ago, but says because of how long ago it was, it’s impossible to know for sure.
Estate planning attorneys say surprises like Massey’s are actually quite common. Unfortunately little can be done to correct them once this much time has passed.
“Really the best way to prevent that is to have conversations with parents as they get older about their assets,” said Jason Thein with Thompson-Coburn. “Where assets are held, brokerage companies, banks, safe deposit boxes, [etc].”
Massey is taking the news in stride, though not knowing what happened to the money bothers her. Thein advises to always watch the mail when a parent dies, as well as checking their tax returns. He says simple steps can prevent surprises like Masseys.