To locate a deceased person's bank account, an individual must determine if the bank is open, closed or has merged with another bank. Proof of ownership of the account must be provided before access is allowed, states the FDIC.
If the bank is still open, an individual can ask a representative if the account or a safe deposit box in the deceased person's name still exists. The bank may ask for a death certificate, and either a power of attorney or documentation from the courts listing an executor of the estate, reports the FDIC. If the account was recently closed, the bank may still have the assets. For older accounts, the bank may have transferred the funds to the unclaimed property office in the state of the account owner's last known address.
If the bank does not have the account, the FDIC may have possession of the assets, including deposit accounts and valuables from safe deposit boxes. However, it holds onto these assets for a limited period of time before transferring them to unclaimed property offices, according to the FDIC. Some companies may offer to help track down unclaimed property for a fee, but individuals should exercise caution to avoid potential scams.