Q: A family member mention that there was some money and it was posted in the newspaper, where do I start?
Mayaquez, PR is where my grandfather resided . Not getting much help from that side of family, was born in the US so not very close to them.
When a close relative dies, such as the case of your grandfather, the first thing that needs to be done is whether the deceased died having left a Will or not. If no Will exists, a Declaration of Heirs must be petitioned from the Puerto Rico court. Depending on when your grandfather died, the court systems may be perused to determine whether or not this step was completed. If a Will exists, a certification to that effect may be requested from the Office of Notary Inspections. This would identify the notary before whom the will was granted. A copy of the Will allows you to determine whether or not you have any participation in your late grandfather's estate. To start either process, a copy of your grandfather's death certificate is required.
Using your grandfather's social security #, an account certification may be requested from each of the Puerto Rico banks, to determine any cashe/certificates/values left by your grandfather. Finally, a search should be conducted to determine whether or not your grandfather had any real estate to his name at the moment of his death.
Unfortunately, without additional information there is no way to determine whether any of these steps have been completed. On the other hand, it's standard operating procedures for financial institutions to publish unclaimed bank accounts when said accounts have not seen any activity for 3-5 years. The publishing of said balances is a final attempt from the financial institution to have the funds claimed, before transferring the unclaimed amounts to the Puerto Rico Treasury Department.
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