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How a big global bank “forgot” to pay out millions of dollars from the accounts of deceased people.

October 20, 2022
JPMorgan Chase whistle-blower case alleging violations of unclaimed property law

And we thought that big global banks provided financial security …


A very interesting case revealed by Bloomberg demonstrates that even big global banks tend to “forget” to transfer the money they manage into the estates of deceased clients. 

The case is about JPMorgan Chase which 

  • didn’t declare assets amounting to millions of dollars that belonged to deceased clients
  • didn’t pay the required interest on the accounts, and 
  • ultimately transferred these assets into the relevant estates only after the case was exposed by a whistle-blower.


A few salient points regarding this case make it quite shocking. 

1. The first is that we are talking about one of the biggest global banks – JPMorgan

Usually, we choose big global banks because we believe that they ensure additional security, but as Bloomberg reveals, this is not always the case. 

2. The second quite appalling fact is that we are not talking just about “forgetting” to pay out the money.

According to Bloomberg, the case involved the financial giant submitting false statements to the state that “permitted the bank to sit on millions of dollars’ worth of cash, real estate, securities, jewelry and other assets…

3. And the third shocking detail is that this was not a one-off case but a practice that continued for more than a decade

How was this case revealed? As you can imagine, the financial giant didn’t do it voluntarily. A whistle-blower exposed the facts and helped bring an end to this practice. 


Can estate planning protect the assets in this case?

This example shows once again that our digital and financial assets are at high risk should anything happen to us. As this case demonstrates, estate planning might be of little help as obviously none of the heirs knew that the assets existed in the first place.

Even if you have a perfectly crafted estate plan, how can it protect your assets and inheritance if your loved ones aren’t able to identify and locate your assets

A catch all” clause sounds great, but what and where is “all”


How will your loved ones access the assets?

Another problem that many of these cases reveal is that often families of deceased asset owners are aware of the existence of certain assets but they cannot access them

Your loved ones know about that digital wallet with crypto, or about your account in that online trading platform, or the investment in another financial services company, but how do they get access to the actual asset?

Often, these platforms deny access to family members, pointing to clauses in their terms and conditions related to KYC requirements and privacy policies. And the family remains without these assets, even if they know where they are. 


It’s never too late to protect your digital and financial assets with digital inheritance

Digital inheritance services are already helping millions of people globally to protect their digital and financial assets

They enable people to safely catalogue their assets and designate beneficiaries. Most importantly, digital inheritance services automatically detect when a fatal event has happened to the asset owner, and once such an event is detected, they proactively inform the family members. 

Your loved ones will be aware of your assets, where they are, and how to access them. 


“Your loved ones will be aware of your assets, where they are, and how to access them.”

Digital inheritance services ensure that your money will stay in your family, instead of in the banks or financial institutions managing it.


Protect Your Money and Loved Ones



Source: Bloomberg Law


Editorial Team
Guardians of your digital footprint, the DGLegacy® editorial team is dedicated to helping you protect your assets and secure your family’s future with expert insights on digital legacy planning and inheritance. Have a story to share? We’d love to hear it! Contact us at editors@dglegacy.com.