Author Topic: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?  (Read 12802 times)

EconDiva

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Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« on: October 19, 2014, 06:54:08 AM »
*I've posted an update in a separate post further below on the date of November 10, 2015*

My grandfather passed away a few months ago. I haven't fully grieved yet but since he was like my dad I'm sure it's going to happen soon as the holidays are quickly approaching.

Anywho, when my grandmother passed away 10 years ago, a few months after her passing I got a small package in the mail from my grandfather. I opened it, figured they were items of no actual value, but instead items he just wanted me to have. So I closed the envelope and honestly didn't think about re-opening it....until he passed.

Fast forward 10 years later to this year. So I revisited the envelope. They are checks issued by DuPont Finance. They are made out to his mom, who I have a small memory of, as she stayed with us before she had passed. There are maybe 20 of these checks and most of them are in care of his name.  There is also a partially completed stock transfer requirement letter in the envelope.

Lastly, which I just discovered as I am typing this, there is a small newspaper clipping. The part he cut out reads "Thanks for your help in returning this money to your friends, neighbors and relatives. Call today: (###-###-####). We're making government work better for you!

I'm confused.

Edited to add: So I just noticed there is also a blank 'claim for property form' included, as well as appears to be actual original letter-sized DuPont certificates of stock.




*I've posted an update in a separate post further below on the date of November 10, 2015*
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 08:26:13 AM by EconDiva »

oldtoyota

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2014, 08:32:44 AM »
My grandfather passed away a few months ago. I haven't fully grieved yet but since he was like my dad I'm sure it's going to happen soon as the holidays are quickly approaching.

Anywho, when my grandmother passed away 10 years ago, a few months after her passing I got a small package in the mail from my grandfather. I opened it, figured they were items of no actual value, but instead items he just wanted me to have. So I closed the envelope and honestly didn't think about re-opening it....until he passed.

Fast forward 10 years later to this year. So I revisited the envelope. They are checks issued by DuPont Finance. They are made out to his mom, who I have a small memory of, as she stayed with us before she had passed. There are maybe 20 of these checks and most of them are in care of his name.  There is also a partially completed stock transfer requirement letter in the envelope.

Lastly, which I just discovered as I am typing this, there is a small newspaper clipping. The part he cut out reads "Thanks for your help in returning this money to your friends, neighbors and relatives. Call today: (###-###-####). We're making government work better for you!

I'm confused.

Edited to add: So I just noticed there is also a blank 'claim for property form' included, as well as appears to be actual original letter-sized DuPont certificates of stock.

Are you saying there is unclaimed money from a previous estate (the estate of your grandfather's mother)?

Maybe he wanted you to claim the money for him? It's interesting that he did not mention his intent to you while he was alive, especially since he sent paperwork related to his own mother after the passing of his own wife. I am also confused.

When my grandmother passed, I helped my parents uncover some of the unclaimed money. When a financial group can't find the owner of funds--if the owner has died or moved--it goes into a state account of "unclaimed money." This can then be claimed by heirs after heirs prove that they are, indeed, the heirs of the estate.

I personally had a former employer stick some $$ of mine into an unclaimed money pool. I am not sure why they could not find me to return it to me. Anyway, I still am not sure what it was. It may have been part of a 401K plan, but that doesn't make sense to me. After I filled out paperwork, the state sent me a check for the amount.

Hope this helps!

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2014, 09:03:01 AM »
My grandfather passed away a few months ago. I haven't fully grieved yet but since he was like my dad I'm sure it's going to happen soon as the holidays are quickly approaching.

Anywho, when my grandmother passed away 10 years ago, a few months after her passing I got a small package in the mail from my grandfather. I opened it, figured they were items of no actual value, but instead items he just wanted me to have. So I closed the envelope and honestly didn't think about re-opening it....until he passed.

Fast forward 10 years later to this year. So I revisited the envelope. They are checks issued by DuPont Finance. They are made out to his mom, who I have a small memory of, as she stayed with us before she had passed. There are maybe 20 of these checks and most of them are in care of his name.  There is also a partially completed stock transfer requirement letter in the envelope.

Lastly, which I just discovered as I am typing this, there is a small newspaper clipping. The part he cut out reads "Thanks for your help in returning this money to your friends, neighbors and relatives. Call today: (###-###-####). We're making government work better for you!

I'm confused.

Edited to add: So I just noticed there is also a blank 'claim for property form' included, as well as appears to be actual original letter-sized DuPont certificates of stock.

Are you saying there is unclaimed money from a previous estate (the estate of your grandfather's mother)?

Maybe he wanted you to claim the money for him? It's interesting that he did not mention his intent to you while he was alive, especially since he sent paperwork related to his own mother after the passing of his own wife. I am also confused.

When my grandmother passed, I helped my parents uncover some of the unclaimed money. When a financial group can't find the owner of funds--if the owner has died or moved--it goes into a state account of "unclaimed money." This can then be claimed by heirs after heirs prove that they are, indeed, the heirs of the estate.

I personally had a former employer stick some $$ of mine into an unclaimed money pool. I am not sure why they could not find me to return it to me. Anyway, I still am not sure what it was. It may have been part of a 401K plan, but that doesn't make sense to me. After I filled out paperwork, the state sent me a check for the amount.

Hope this helps!

We are both as confused as the other.

I will call the number to see if there are unclaimed funds but at the same time don't think I should because I am not his next of kin. I don't want to start any trouble...it appears he wanted me to inherit certain monies without others knowing (I'm one of 7 grandchildren and may be the only grandchild he left something to.).

Then again, the checks themselves are so old..,they can't be cashed. Was he thinking I could transfer ownership of my great grandmothers shares after he passed?

tallen

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2014, 09:34:38 AM »
I think you need to talk to an attorney that specializes in probate and estate settlement to figure it out. If there is one handling your grandfathers estate maybe take it to him?

I don't think anyone could legally say it should be theirs since your grandfather specifically gave it to you while he was still alive, but could cause some hurt feelings depending on your family dynamics.

Best of luck getting it sorted!

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2014, 09:59:29 AM »
I think you need to talk to an attorney that specializes in probate and estate settlement to figure it out. If there is one handling your grandfathers estate maybe take it to him?

I don't think anyone could legally say it should be theirs since your grandfather specifically gave it to you while he was still alive, but could cause some hurt feelings depending on your family dynamics.

Best of luck getting it sorted!

The person handling the estate is my mom's sister (my aunt). He assigned her as the executor and I know he wouldn't want her to know about this. All hell will break lose if she finds out he left me with so much as a penny.

oldtoyota

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2014, 10:07:31 AM »
I think you need to talk to an attorney that specializes in probate and estate settlement to figure it out. If there is one handling your grandfathers estate maybe take it to him?

I don't think anyone could legally say it should be theirs since your grandfather specifically gave it to you while he was still alive, but could cause some hurt feelings depending on your family dynamics.

Best of luck getting it sorted!

The person handling the estate is my mom's sister (my aunt). He assigned her as the executor and I know he wouldn't want her to know about this. All hell will break lose if she finds out he left me with so much as a penny.

I second the advice to speak with an attorney. Some attorneys won't charge for an initial visit (if they are not able to help you).

There would need to be a will or trust paperwork indicating who gets what. In other words, your grandfather mailing you these things doesn't change what the legal paperwork says (as far as I know, but I am not a lawyer).




greenmimama

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2014, 10:10:01 AM »
About your aunt, he didn't give them to you in his will, he gave them to you while he was alive, no one else should have a claim to these, they might be nothing, but even if they were worth a lot, he gave them to you, you still might need a lawyer to prove that, but still.

A Death in the family makes people crazy for money and greedier than ever. It is weird and sad.

GardenFun

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2014, 10:55:57 AM »
A Death in the family makes people crazy for money and greedier than ever. It is weird and sad.

+1.  Find out the basic value of the shares.  Then determine if a good lawyer would be worth it. 

homebody

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2014, 11:05:15 AM »
Call Dupont Investor Relations and ask them.  Phone no. 302-774-3034.  Since your grandfather and great-grandmother are dead, I wouldn't worry about getting them in trouble.  Due to stock splits and dividends, this could represent a substantial amount of money.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2014, 11:21:01 AM »
I think you need to talk to an attorney that specializes in probate and estate settlement to figure it out. If there is one handling your grandfathers estate maybe take it to him?

I don't think anyone could legally say it should be theirs since your grandfather specifically gave it to you while he was still alive, but could cause some hurt feelings depending on your family dynamics.

Best of luck getting it sorted!

The person handling the estate is my mom's sister (my aunt). He assigned her as the executor and I know he wouldn't want her to know about this. All hell will break lose if she finds out he left me with so much as a penny.

I second the advice to speak with an attorney. Some attorneys won't charge for an initial visit (if they are not able to help you).

There would need to be a will or trust paperwork indicating who gets what. In other words, your grandfather mailing you these things doesn't change what the legal paperwork says (as far as I know, but I am not a lawyer).

My current employer has a legal plan as part of our benefits, so I will contact them to get a consultation scheduled.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2014, 11:24:26 AM »
About your aunt, he didn't give them to you in his will, he gave them to you while he was alive, no one else should have a claim to these, they might be nothing, but even if they were worth a lot, he gave them to you, you still might need a lawyer to prove that, but still.

A Death in the family makes people crazy for money and greedier than ever. It is weird and sad.

She wouldn't want the funds. She'd just be mad as hell because she's always felt I 'took her place' as his first child when I became his first grandchild, and she'd just be mad as hell (and I'm guessing hurt?).  That's all. She's always kinda hated me for the above reason no matter how nice I am to her. So my concerns revolve moreso around getting her all riled up...she's a very emotional control freak and the 'mouth' of the family. 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 11:32:44 AM by EconDiva »

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2014, 11:25:14 AM »
A Death in the family makes people crazy for money and greedier than ever. It is weird and sad.

+1.  Find out the basic value of the shares.  Then determine if a good lawyer would be worth it.

Thanks. I will do this.

MikeBear

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2014, 05:37:32 PM »
I'd make absolutely SURE that you mention to any lawyer: "He gave these to me while he was still alive". If there's still a postal date, that should help prove your point. As others have said, when it comes to estates, many relatives get crazy and have no qualms in going after anything they can grab.

Answer questions asked of you about them as simply as you can, and don't volunteer anything since you aren't sure yet what is going on. If you aren't sure of an answer, just say: "I don't know". Don't give him any theories, just let him do the checking, and everything will happen however it does.

Hopefully it'll work out in your favor.

Dicey

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2014, 05:53:29 PM »
How in God's name would anyone find out unless you told someone? I sincerely hope that you have not and that you continue to refrain from discussing it with anyone (outside this anonymous forum and a lawyer) until you have reached a resolution. Having said that, of course we're dying to know how it all turns out, so please keep us posted ;-).

If it does turn out that you receive money, just throw it in investments until anyone who would be upset is gone. Again, nobody knows what you have unless you tell them.

Lest this sound too harsh, I think it's really cool that your grandfather wanted to do something special for you. Hold that in your heart, even if this whole thing proves to be a bust. It's the gesture, not the money that matters.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2014, 06:53:58 AM »
I'd make absolutely SURE that you mention to any lawyer: "He gave these to me while he was still alive". If there's still a postal date, that should help prove your point. As others have said, when it comes to estates, many relatives get crazy and have no qualms in going after anything they can grab.

Answer questions asked of you about them as simply as you can, and don't volunteer anything since you aren't sure yet what is going on. If you aren't sure of an answer, just say: "I don't know". Don't give him any theories, just let him do the checking, and everything will happen however it does.

Hopefully it'll work out in your favor.

Thanks for the advice. I will keep all of this in mind.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2014, 06:56:26 AM »
How in God's name would anyone find out unless you told someone? I sincerely hope that you have not and that you continue to refrain from discussing it with anyone (outside this anonymous forum and a lawyer) until you have reached a resolution. Having said that, of course we're dying to know how it all turns out, so please keep us posted ;-).

If it does turn out that you receive money, just throw it in investments until anyone who would be upset is gone. Again, nobody knows what you have unless you tell them.

Lest this sound too harsh, I think it's really cool that your grandfather wanted to do something special for you. Hold that in your heart, even if this whole thing proves to be a bust. It's the gesture, not the money that matters.

I agree. And I appreciate he thought to do this separately from the will. I am very grateful for the thought, it means more than I could ever express right now.

oldtoyota

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2014, 07:05:44 PM »
About your aunt, he didn't give them to you in his will, he gave them to you while he was alive, no one else should have a claim to these, they might be nothing, but even if they were worth a lot, he gave them to you, you still might need a lawyer to prove that, but still.

A Death in the family makes people crazy for money and greedier than ever. It is weird and sad.

Interesting. For items like stocks, I thought some sort of name transfer would have to happen. My gmother gave me some things before she died. She was worried other people would try to keep it from me, so she did it ahead of time. I had no idea that stocks could be given that way too. Well, I am definitely not a lawyer!

I hope this works out for you, EconDiva. My heart goes out to you.

GizmoTX

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2014, 07:38:36 PM »
My grandmother gave me a carton during what turned out to be my last visit to her in another state, because she died of a heart attack not long after. It wasn't her first one & she must have known. The carton contained her crystal & other items she thought highly of, not anything of great value. She didn't trust my father, her only child, to appreciate & keep them. She also gave me the passbook to a modest savings account with my name on it. When her will was finally read, I was named trustee for several accounts to be invested for ten years time for my father & 2 youngest brothers, who were minors. Her intent was to preserve something for my father, who was being divorced by my mother (justified) & for education for my youngest brothers (my parents saved nothing). Her will left me out along with 2 other siblings, but she had taken care of me in advance so that the rest of my family wouldn't know. My father kept trying during those ten years to get me to release the funds to him early. I am happy that I did what my grandmother wanted, & doubled the money to boot, but it wasn't easy.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2014, 01:18:46 PM »
Update:

So far I've spoken with the State Treasurer: They said I needed to speak with Probate but that since my grandfather's estate is open and he is deceased, the executor will 'likely' need to be notified and funds would 'likely' be paid to them.

So I called Probate and they said my Aunt, as executor, should be the one handling this and would likely receive the payout.

So I called DuPont and they said since my grandfather is deceased I must contact Probate above, or the executor of the estate.

The only thing I haven't done is contact an attorney.  On another note, and a pretty dumb question I have is, to determine the total value of the shares I would just take today's rate and multiply it by the number of shares they left me with, correct?  That would give me a rough estimate?  If so, I'm looking at around $4K or so...perhaps.  I did a search for unclaimed property in both my grandfather and his mom's name...they are both showing up in the state of South Carolina.  Actually I'd be pretty surprised if my Aunt hadn't already looked into this to be honest.  I don't know if it's 'worth it' to pursue at this point....? :/

Dicey

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2014, 02:28:51 PM »
Just because they gave you answers doesn't mean that they gave you the correct answers. Keep researching.

And no, you do not value the stocks that way. They have probably split a number of times since then. DuPont should be able to answer that question regardless of who owns the stock. Otherwise, back to the internet. There may even be a calculator on DuPont's website.

As to the unclaimed property, don't do anything to get your Aunt's back up. Others will probably have better ideas, but the only thing I can think of at the moment is to search the internet for an article on this topic, preferably links with sites you've visited. Forward it to her with a note saying something like "I just saw this, looks interesting, so I'm passing it on." Let her think it's her idea.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2014, 02:33:52 PM »
Just because they gave you answers doesn't mean that they gave you the correct answers. Keep researching.

And no, you do not value the stocks that way. They have probably split a number of times since then. DuPont should be able to answer that question regardless of who owns the stock. Otherwise, back to the internet. There may even be a calculator on DuPont's website.

As to the unclaimed property, don't do anything to get your Aunt's back up. Others will probably have better ideas, but the only thing I can think of at the moment is to search the internet for an article on this topic, preferably links with sites you've visited. Forward it to her with a note saying something like "I just saw this, looks interesting, so I'm passing it on." Let her think it's her idea.

As far as not getting my Aunt's attention, it may be too late.  I filled out a claim form on the Treasury's website, THEN called them.  Because I submitted this form, they may or may contact her as executor saying someone has submitted a claim for funds...I don't know how that works.  I didn't think about the fact she could be notified until after I had done it soooo....yeah.  :/

As an FYI, next to my great grandmother's name on the Treasurer's website, it specifically says the unclaimed property is 'STOCK'.  Next to grandfather's name it simply says the unclaimed property is ">$100".

thd7t

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2014, 02:38:16 PM »
Have you saved the envelope?  This will have an official postmark, which will demonstrate that the shares were turned over to you before his death.  I don't know that this will help you collect anything, but it will clarify that this was a gift while he was living.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2014, 02:41:06 PM »
Just because they gave you answers doesn't mean that they gave you the correct answers. Keep researching.

And no, you do not value the stocks that way. They have probably split a number of times since then. DuPont should be able to answer that question regardless of who owns the stock. Otherwise, back to the internet. There may even be a calculator on DuPont's website.

As to the unclaimed property, don't do anything to get your Aunt's back up. Others will probably have better ideas, but the only thing I can think of at the moment is to search the internet for an article on this topic, preferably links with sites you've visited. Forward it to her with a note saying something like "I just saw this, looks interesting, so I'm passing it on." Let her think it's her idea.

Just got off the phone with Dupont.  They told me to use the same calculation I had already done to determine the market value of the shares.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2014, 02:43:53 PM »
Have you saved the envelope?  This will have an official postmark, which will demonstrate that the shares were turned over to you before his death.  I don't know that this will help you collect anything, but it will clarify that this was a gift while he was living.

Yep, I have everything.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2014, 02:55:05 PM »
You really need to contact an lawyer experienced with estates...

My first thought (and this is looking to be true according to what you've found so far) is that regardless of your grandfather's intentions in giving you a stack of paperwork - he didn't officially leave you anything other than a headache. As none of the stocks were signed over to your or left to you in his will, then they'll just end up as part of the total estate. So his lack of follow-through sort of screws you over - since he didn't actually change the ownership over himself.

If it was real property like a table or cash, then giving it to you whenever would have been fine, but stuff that needed to have a name change or involving paperwork like that... I'm pretty sure you're aunt as executor is going to become involved since that stuff is still a part of his estate and distributed as per probate unless specifically called out in a will.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2014, 03:00:33 PM »
I don't know if it's 'worth it' to pursue at this point....? :/

I think that's going to be up to you. It sounds as if the only thing you can do is to give the paperwork/certificates to your aunt (after taking copies) and then submit a claim against his estate for the value of the stock.

Financially, it sounds like it's worth it. Emotionally - only you know if it's worth it.

For the unclaimed property - there isn't much you can do. Whatever his intentions were regarding that, a blank form isn't going to cut it for giving that to you.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2014, 03:35:51 PM »
You really need to contact an lawyer experienced with estates...

My first thought (and this is looking to be true according to what you've found so far) is that regardless of your grandfather's intentions in giving you a stack of paperwork - he didn't officially leave you anything other than a headache. As none of the stocks were signed over to your or left to you in his will, then they'll just end up as part of the total estate. So his lack of follow-through sort of screws you over - since he didn't actually change the ownership over himself.

If it was real property like a table or cash, then giving it to you whenever would have been fine, but stuff that needed to have a name change or involving paperwork like that... I'm pretty sure you're aunt as executor is going to become involved since that stuff is still a part of his estate and distributed as per probate unless specifically called out in a will.

Now I regret I didn't look into this while he was alive.

I have a gut feeling everything you're saying is correct. Honestly I'd rather have nothing than 'let the cat out the bag'...it would just be too much drama I think.  And like my grandfather, I like to keep the peace. 

I have a legal consultation set up.  Guess I'll have to take it from there at this point.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 04:01:17 PM by EconDiva »

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2014, 03:36:56 PM »
I don't know if it's 'worth it' to pursue at this point....? :/

I think that's going to be up to you. It sounds as if the only thing you can do is to give the paperwork/certificates to your aunt (after taking copies) and then submit a claim against his estate for the value of the stock.

Financially, it sounds like it's worth it. Emotionally - only you know if it's worth it.

For the unclaimed property - there isn't much you can do. Whatever his intentions were regarding that, a blank form isn't going to cut it for giving that to you.

I agree with everything you wrote here.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2014, 07:21:35 AM »
So I spoke with an attorney over the phone yesterday and did a consultation with them about my situation. They said since there was no transfer of the shares to me via the appropriate paperwork, I have no legal right to them. They said they're now part of the estate and may be distributed as per the will. They said the will should have a type of 'catch all' statement that explains if there's anything left over outside of what's already been allocated to people, then do 'x' or 'y' with it.

They said the executor has the power to choose to honor my grandfathers wishes or not.

EconDiva

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Re: Why did my grandfather leave me with this?
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2015, 08:34:06 AM »
Update November 10, 2015:

I spoke with DuPont (who held the stock), who told me to speak with the State.

I had filed a claim for the property with the State months ago with no response.  The State said they never received my claim. 

To make a long story short, there's a couple of hundred dollars left I could claim.  There WERE however 54 shares of stock, but because my grandfather never claimed the property, the State liquidated it and sold it off back in 2002.  The stock was originally my great grandmother's.  The family rumor was that my grandfather held resentment against his own brother for something...I don't know what.  Money matters or something to do with the brother not helping with the care of my aging great grandmother.

Anywho the rumors were that my grandfather never claimed his mother's property because if he cashed in anything his brother would get half and my grandfather would rather not get anything than let his brother get part of my great grandmother's money.  I'm guessing for whatever reason my grandfather did not realize the stock would go to the state and eventually be sold since he sent me these certificates (how would I claim property he didn't even own anymore?).  My understanding is they sold it for about $5K back in 2002.  The stocks originated back in 1984.  Oh well.