Imagine having a sibling whom no one in your family has spoken to in nearly three decades. What if you were contacted one day and told that your sibling passed away six years ago and left behind two bank accounts worth $81,000? That's what happened to one family and it led them on a nationwide scavenger hunt.
When Louis Passerini passed away in New York in 1994, he had not spoken to anyone in his family in 27 years. He did not have a phone and never told his family where he lived, so they had no way of contacting him.
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.
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.
Reference: DNAinfo (July 20, 2015) "Long-Lost Brother's Death Leads Man on $1M Scavenger Hunt."