Old bank accounts can be located by visiting the bank that holds the missing account, inquiring about the account with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and checking with the state unclaimed property office, explains the FDIC. Banks require documentation for inquiries about deceased relatives' accounts.
In cases where the bank that holds the account is still open, there is no guarantee that the bank has retained the account on its books, or even a record of the account, the FDIC explains. After a certain period of time, banks are required to turn over abandoned accounts or property to the unclaimed property office of the state of the account holder's last known address. Banks maintain records of these abandoned accounts for a period of time, and bank officers can inform interested parties that the holdings have been transferred to the state. However, banks eventually delete records of these accounts.
When individuals make inquires regarding old accounts of deceased relatives, banks require a copy of the account owner's death certificate and the court appointment showing the executor of the estate, the FDIC notes. In cases of inquires regarding living relatives' accounts, banks require documentation of power of attorney.
Individuals who cannot find information about old accounts from the bank can often locate the missing assets by contacting the state unclaimed property office or FDIC.