Have you ever thought of having unclaimed money lying in the state coffers somewhere?
Chances are you the state owes you money and the only thing for you to do is prove that its is your.
The value of unclaimed money has risen sharply over the past few year. And, it keeps growing every single day. Why?
(1) Either people are not aware they can check unclaimed money for free and therefore do not claim it or;
(2) More money is being remitted to the government as unclaimed by firms.
Whichever the case, this article will enlighten you. In the end, you know what unclaimed money is, sources of these unclaimed money, how to file your claim the right way and why you might be a beneficiary of unclaimed money from you grandparents without even knowing it.
Find-Unclaimed Assets is a search engine that helps you find unclaimed money fast. It is fast and searches with higher precision using your name only. It is free.
What is Unclaimed Money
Unclaimed money is are funds whose rightful owner cannot be located by the companies owing them. This can be as a result of a number of reasons making it impossible for the rightful owner to claim the funds.
Some of the reasons why unclaimed money and assets keeps increasing by day are:
- Sudden death of the account holder.
- Closed an account having not withdrawn all the money in it.
- Failure to register a forwarding address after changing residence.
- Forgetting the existence an account or asset.
- Not aware of the existence of an asset or account
For instance, you can enroll to some financial programe in the area you lived in. But after a job change, you move out and forget about it or it becomes difficult and expensive to continue participating in it.
The law requires companies to hold such money through a dormancy period. This is a period of time when the account or an asset is declared as unclaimed by the company, up to the time when the state declares it as abandoned. It takes 5 years.
Therefater, the unclaimed money goes through an enchantment process. In the process, the ownership is transferred from the holding institution to the state.
The state will hold the unclaimed money as a trustee up to the time when its rightful owner claims it.
What are the sources of unclaimed money
Here is the list of the most common sources of unclaimed money.
- Abandoned bank accounts
- Uncashed payroll and other checks
- Tax refunds
- Stocks and bonds dividends (including incentive stocks)
- Estate proceeds
- Unclaimed pensions and employers retirement plans.
In the early days of the stock market, many rushed to buy stocks, bonds, mineral rights and royalties of the mining companies.
However, most people misplace the documents and saw no need to follow up.
Abandoned stocks, bonds, mineral rights and their accrued royalties form a sizable bulk of unclaimed money.
You can run a search of your grandparents and you might be surprised to get an exact match name with a $1,000+ value from the old good days.
Similarly, in the recent times, people get moved by fancy IPOs hype. But later after buying the shares, a good number of the people lose hope and forget or abandon their accounts when the firm holding the shares become unstable, losing most of the share value.
Also, when moving from one job to the next, some new employers provide retirement perks to entice the employees to remit more. Often, the new goodies require new accounts and over time, you forget the existence of your older employer’s plan which is remitted to the government after some time.
When business entities owe you some money and fails to locate you, the law requires them to hand it over to the state however small.
As a custodian for the public wealth, your unclaimed money will remain in the hand of the state until the time when you claim it.
How to claim your unclaimed money
When checking for unclaimed money, its tempting to google and start start using the website ranked first for our search.
The sensitive nature of the whole process and the number of scammers online makes it risky to key in your information to every website you find out there that claim to help.
There are a handful of trusted websites that can help you conduct the whole process with higher precision and scam free. The best part is that they are free, simple and straight forward.
If you want to kick start your process, here are the first places for you to start your search.
- Find-Unclaimed Assets (the best and most comprehensive)
- State comptroller website
Here is a step by step guide on how to find and claim the unclaimed money.
1. List the individuals you want to check for unclaimed money
The first step involves listing all the individuals you want to conduct a search for. This can be anyone related or close to you that you feel might have your name as a beneficiary or next of kin for their assets or money.
Your list can include your parents, grandparents, siblings or any other person close to you.
Once you have brainstormed for a few names, craft a list of their full names and perhaps their social security number (not a must at this stage).
2. Consider possible sources the unclaimed money
The next step involves brainstorming for the specific places unclaimed money might be owed.
Get 3 places that give you the highest chance to get unclaimed money. This step is not necessary but its included here for purposes of precision when searching.
For every simple name search, there are often thousands of results with similar names that will appear on your screen. Therefore, looking at the right places might give you the best chance to get the exact results that correspond to the name you are looking for in the shortest time possible.
The most common sources of unclaimed money are:
- Treasury department
- United states judiciary
- Department of veterans affairs
- Securities and exchange commission
- Department of housing and urban development
- Department of navy
- The IRS
You can also list the states where you or the person you are searching lived in the past.
For example, if you (or your father) was a soldier, you will have department of veterans affairs, Department of navy and treasury department on top of your list. The list can be as extensive and long as you want it to be.
3. Conduct the search yourself
To this point, you have the names of the persons you want to search for and the places with the highest chances to get a claim.
Key in the full names as they appear in their identity document to Unclaimed assets search engine and run your search.
The website will bring a list of names with the closest results as your search term. Sift them and check the ones that bear closest resemblance to the details you listed in step 1 and 2 above.
For example, if your name is James Bond from New York and worked as medical officer in the Marines, then, results that highlight some James Bond who worked as a medical officer for the Marines might be what you should be looking for.
If you get positive results, sit tight and move to the next step.
4. Submit a claim form
After finding your unclaimed money, you can start the process of claiming it from the government.
The process is simple. Starts with filling in the claim form. Then, submit the duly filled form to the specific department or state listed on Unclaimed Assets website.
Your claimed will be processed and you will receive your check a few weeks later.
It is at this stage that your social security number will be needed. It is used for purposes of verifying that the person seeking to claim the assets of money listed as unclaimed is the real owner or the real beneficiary.
5. Get your check mailed to you
After the claim form is submitted, the responsible body will verify the information provided for the claim. Thereafter, a check will be issued and mailed to the new address you provided.
As for assets like estate, you are required to prove you are the beneficiary before it is transferred to your name.
Unclaimed money is not taxed whiled it is still in the state of being not claimed.
It is however treated as taxable income, just like every other earnings when it is transferred to your ownership after successful claim.
However, some unclaimed funds under the tax free investments like retirement benefits can be claimed without tax.
You could be a beneficiary of Unclaimed money (or assets)
There are chances you are a beneficiary of an unclaimed asset or unclaimed money.
The unclaimed money and assets value keeps rising every year. As of 2019, the value stood at close to $50 billion throughout the US.
New York state alone has over $14 billion with a $704 average per head of unclaimed money. According to New York state fact sheet, the highest claim is $8 billion. One person claimed $5.2 million last year.
It all starts with checking it out if the state holds unclaimed money for you at Unclaimed Assets. The whole process is free.