To begin with, dormant assets include bank accounts and safe deposit boxes. The lack of contact between the bank and the client during a period of 10 years may turn these assets into a dormant bank account.
In order to avoid this situation, the current regulations establish that banks should contact the client at least once a year. For example, to update the client’s personal and business information. This is clearly in line with the anti-money-laundering legislation. Some of the main reasons for a dormant bank account may involve hiding the assets from tax authorities and family members or the liquidation of a company. However, this implies a high risk because the assets from dormant bank account become the property of the state.
Based on more than 20 years of professional practice, we highly recommend our clients to avoid contacting the bank directly in search of dormant bank accounts. Mainly because there is a wide array of circumstances to take into account. For example, it is important to distinguish between a dormant bank account and a closed bank account. In the latter, the contractual relationship between the bank and the client is rescinded. Next, the account has not been classified as a dormant account yet. In the case of a joint bank account, it is possible that only one account holder lost contact, but the other members remain in touch with the banking institution. However, if the government already took hold of the dormant bank account, it is impossible to recover said assets.
In general, the search for a dormant bank account involves submitting specific documentation together with the corresponding application. Some of the required documentation includes a valid passport, a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, a death record, a certificate of inheritance, and a power of attorney if applicable.
Given the nature of such a sensitive matter, at InheritEstate we provide a high level of confidentiality. In addition, we apply the most sophisticated security measures available in the market.