Deceased people often leave behind possessions. These assets are left in a will or by law to family members or to named persons in the will. If there are no heirs or they cannot be traced, the assets will disappear into a consignment fund of the Ministry of Finance. In most deaths it is clear who the heirs are, as they are mentioned in the will. If no will has been made, the law also contains a list of the order of heirs. There are four groups of heirs who are entitled to the inheritance. After these four groups, further family members may be eligible for a share of the estate. As soon as no heirs can be found, the estate is added to the consignment fund. This also applies to unclaimed amounts from settled bankruptcies.
In July 2009, the Ministry of Finance’s consignment fund received great attention in the media. The Dutch read in newspapers and on the internet that approximately 30 million euros are still waiting for the rightful owners of undivided inheritances and settled bankruptcies. The Ministry has opened a search engine where people can search by name for outstanding amounts that are available for them. This may involve large amounts, but also small claims. Amounts of 45.38 or higher are kept in the consignment fund for 20 years, after which they revert to the Dutch government. Lower amounts are even kept for 60 years. When you claim amounts to which you are still entitled, you will also receive an interest of 1.06 percent. The Ministry’s search engine can be found on the website: www.minfin.nl
Amounts from inheritance
In almost all cases, heirs can be identified after death who are entitled to part or the entire estate. Initially, it is checked whether a will has been drawn up by the deceased. If this is not the case, the statutory regulations apply. In that case there are four groups of heirs. According to legal regulations, the inheritance goes entirely to the highest group. The groups below this are only eligible for the inheritance if the higher group is not present. The legal order is as follows:
- husband or wife (registered partners) and children;
- parents, brothers, sisters;
- great grandparents.
If no heirs can be found in these four groups and no other family members, the inheritance goes into the consignment fund. The cash also contains amounts for heirs, of which it is not clear whether she wants to accept the amount.
How to request a claim?
If it turns out that there is an amount in the cash register for you, you have the option to submit a request to collect the amount. You must request this in writing to the Ministry of Finance. You will have to demonstrate what you are entitled to and that you are actually the person who has the rights. Private individuals must send a copy of their ID. Companies may also have outstanding claims. They can also submit a request in writing and must prove that they are the rights holder. They must also send an original extract from the Chamber of Commerce.