How to Find Unclaimed Money
If you are trying to learn how to find unclaimed money, there are actually many different ways you can go about doing so. One of the fastest and easiest ways to locate unclaimed money or property is to perform a search online. There are numerous websites available where you can conduct this type of search. In fact many states now have websites specifically devoted to helping individuals find money that is held in trust for them.
Contacting your state’s unclaimed property office is an excellent first place to start when looking for missing money. When conducting this type of search the best place to begin is the state in which you reside or in which you have ever resided. If you have lived in numerous states or if you believe you may have missing money coming to you from a deceased relative you may wish to expand your search. Rather than search through multiple state databases, a quicker way to perform this type of search for unclaimed funds is through the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website. From the homepage on that website you can choose a state and then search that state’s treasury department website.
If the state in which you wish to conduct a search does not have a website to help you find unclaimed money you can also contact the office of the state treasurer directly. Keep in mind you will need to provide very specific information in order to ensure your search is as accurate as possible. For instance, make sure you include your full name and your address. You should also include any other names in which unclaimed funds may be listed under, including prior married names, maiden names and any nicknames or initials. In addition, include any addresses where you lived in the past in which unclaimed money may be attributed to you. It can also be a good idea to conduct a search across the country due to the fact that missing money can sometimes be held in the state in which the company is located instead of the state in which you lived.
Many times when an individual dies they leave behind funds or property that their heirs never know about. This can arise due to a variety of circumstances; most often accounts and investments that were forgotten about. If you think your deceased relative may have left behind unclaimed money you can also ask an inheritance or estate lawyer to look into the matter for you. It should be taken into consideration that this method will naturally be more expensive than conducting an online search. If your relative lived out of state or died some time ago this method may help you to gain more comprehensive results.
When trying to find unclaimed funds or property from a deceased relative it should be kept in mind that in many cases databases will not retrieve information unless it is entered in just the right manner. For instance, some databases list accounts with certain terms surrounding the name of the person. To help locate such accounts, try entering the following terms in the last name search field: Estate of, payable on death, trustee, executor, POD, beneficiary, unknown heir, no beneficiary, etc. This may produce a number of potential matches and you will need to go through each one carefully to determine whether the entry is related to your relative.
It can certainly be worth it to spend the time to find unclaimed money because this is essentially free money for you; if you can find it. Finding unclaimed U.S. Savings Bonds alone can produce excellent results. There are currently more than $16 billion in bonds that have not been claimed. The primary reason is that it takes 20 to 40 years for bonds to mature. Many people completely forget about them or die and never tell their relatives they exist. You can now search a website established by the U.S. Treasury to find unclaimed savings bonds purchased after 1974. To find savings bonds, search www.treasurydirect.gov.