A survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications found that the property of the deceased person that is not inherited by anyone and is stored in local governments nationwide amounts to at least 2021.21 billion yen as of <>.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has recommended that the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and other organizations disseminate information that will reduce the burden on local governments that store them, noting that the burden of surveys to find family members to inherit is increasing.
The Administrative Evaluation Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications conducted a survey of all 1741,1000 municipalities nationwide regarding the storage and processing of retained money left behind by unrelated people after the death, and received responses from more than 2021,10 municipalities.
According to the report, the total amount of retained money stored by local governments nationwide amounted to at least 21,4900 million yen as of the end of October 2018.
As of the end of March 3, it was approximately 13.3 billion yen, an increase of 8 million yen in three and a half years.
Local governments that store them will look for heirs, and if they are not found, they will eventually pay the remainder money to the national treasury, but as the number of single-person households increases and family ties become weaker, investigations are becoming more difficult, and the burden on local governments has become an issue.
In addition, this survey confirmed cases in which a death notification was not submitted by a relative and it was not possible to request the issuance of a copy of the family register necessary for the investigation of the heir, and cases where the financial institution did not respond even if the local government tried to withdraw money from the person's account to use it for funeral expenses of the deceased.
For this reason, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) recommended that the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Ministry of Justice, which have issued guidelines on the handling of retained money, make improvements such as indicating in the guidelines that local governments can respond to requests for the issuance of a copy of the family register and withdrawal of deposits if necessary, and disseminating them to relevant organizations.
Expert: "We need government support to reduce the burden"
Professor Mitsuo Fujishima of Fukuchiyama Public University, who is an expert in local government legal affairs, points out that "while the number of welfare recipients is increasing in local governments, there is a serious shortage of caseworkers, and work is already busy, and the work of investigating heirs accompanying the retained money is a heavy burden, and the disposal of the retained money is an urgent issue."
He added, "The national government has been making positive efforts on retained funds little by little, but while it is expected to increase in the future, the costs of processing such as heir searches are taken out by local governments, and financial support from the government is necessary to reduce the burden."
Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Matsumoto: "The recommendation calls for necessary measures"
"This recommendation calls on the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Minister of Justice to clarify the legal basis on which municipalities can withdraw money from heirs in the event of the death of a person who has no relatives and use it for funeral expenses, and to take necessary measures," Matsumoto told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.