How To Use
This letter to the former employer of Decedent is a sales letter intended to get maximum cooperation. If any assets are misplaced, or inadvertently hidden, employee records and close personal contacts at work may well help you uncover them. This is especially true if the Decedent was still employed by the firm upon his or her death. In that case, time is of the essence to get this letter out promptly when the Decedent’s death is still freshly in mind at his or her former company.
You should follow similar advice as was given in the Account Letter, for the Executor. One difference here is you want to uncover past places of employment to send them letters to see if Decedent has any financial rights due to employment or because of contributions at those firms. Remember that small sums of money invested in almost anything a long time ago become big sums many years later. Former employers may be the direct or indirect custodians of funds or accounts such as those.
Be sure to follow up with the official name as appears on Decedent’s Social Security forms because this will undoubtedly be the name under which these kinds of assets reside. Be sure to include the Decedent’s AKA’s (also known as) names, which includes nicknames or the exclusion of a first or middle name or initial. I, for example, go by “Deaver Brown” but my legal name is “David Deaver Brown”. That difference only causes confusion among distant contacts or financial institutions or the occasional telemarketer who calls for “Dave”. So, be sure to give the recipient of this and other account letters all the choices to track down.
A special point about AKA’s applies to women, especially those married at least twice. They may have rights under their former husband’s names, may have accounts listed with all kinds of combinations of their first names and last name, and various other points of confusion. So, be sure to follow through on this because the widow of recent years with a seemingly stable use of her name may have gone by many others in her earlier days, and money may be parked in those names.
- Sign the letter. Keep a copy for follow-up. Keep a phone log of all conversations so you can refresh your memory when new facts emerge, if they emerge.
- Again, remember, common sense says that the larger the potential estate, the more prone it will be to have productive assets that need to be found. This is especially true if the individual, or their spouse, was speculative or entrepreneurial by nature.