For most families, the idea of being out of touch with a sibling for decades is unusual. Even more unusual would be learning that an estranged sibling had passed away six years ago and no one in the family knew. Stranger still – learning that your brother had left you two bank accounts worth $81,000. One family’s experience holds a lesson for all: if they are not included in a will or discussed with family members, many accounts go unclaimed. For this family, a scavenger hunt proved worth the effort.

When an 84 year old resident of a New York boarding home passed away in 1994, no one in the family was notified. It had been 27 years since any family members had heard from Louis Passerini, an eccentric who had deliberately isolated himself from his family.

Passerini left behind no contact information for anyone to get in touch with his family to even let them know that he had passed away.

Six years later a search firm contacted Passerini’s two brothers.

The firm had been hired to find his heirs.

Why?

Passerini had two bank accounts in New York that needed to be distributed.

All his brothers knew was that Passerini was a career military man and a miser. As a result, the brothers thought there might be more bank accounts out there.

Indeed, after a long scavenger hunt, they discovered that their hunch was right on the money.

In fact, there were many bank accounts totaling nearly $1 million.

DNAinfo reported this story in an article titled “Long-Lost Brother’s Death Leads Man on $1M Scavenger Hunt.”

Not everyone has a long lost sibling with bank accounts all over the country that need to be tracked down.

On the other hand, even the family members with whom we do remain in contact might have accounts they have forgotten or they neglect to mention in an estate plan.

Consequently, when someone passes away it is important that the executor perform due diligence in tracking down any accounts that might have been forgotten.

Do You Need To Speak With An Attorney About Estate Planning?

If you need to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer please contact us online or call us directly at 800.756.5596 to claim your space at one of our free, informative seminars. Your attendance will qualify you for a discount for our estate planning services. We proudly serve clients throughout California with offices in Torrance, Newport Beach, Orange, Woodland Hills and Pasadena.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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