Due to death, divorce or other circumstances, a California resident may be owed an inheritance but may not know it. This type of situation can result when a beneficiary has moved or lost contact with the person that named him or her on an account that provided the individual with a death benefit or in a will.
Some genealogy sites include search features that allow users to search through obituaries or the Social Security Death Master File to find if the person has actually passed away. Additionally, a private citizen can utilize the National Technical Information Service to purchase access to the Social Security Death Index. Then, an individual will likely need to provide proof of death to the insurance company or other financial institution. This usually requires the individual to request a verification of death from the Vital Statistics office. Alternatively, an individual can request an official death certificate.