Forgotten About Unclaimed Investments? How to Reclaim the Money!

The thought of discovering tens of thousands of dollars or more that you did not know is yours can sound unbelievable. However, this is the experience that many people enjoy from time to time. The reality is that it is easy to lose track of all of your assets over the years, and assets can grow to a sizable amount over the years or decades that they were left unattended. This most commonly happens when you move or get divorced. In some cases, a loved one has passed away and left money or insurance proceeds to heirs that the heirs are not aware of. You may not think that this could possibly be your situation, but it can certainly be worth the effort to find out.

Determine If You Have Unclaimed Assets

The first step to take is to look for unclaimed assets. The best way to do this is through the unclaimed property department in your state or in any states where you have lived over the years. States require all assets to be reported to these departments when there has been no activity or contact with the owner within the last 12 months. The assets are held by the state until you or the rightful owner claims them. In most cases, you will be able to search the state databases online based on your last name, your tax identification number or your mailing address at the time you had the account opened. This means that you may need to search for a variety of mailing addresses on various states' websites to determine if any records or accounts may belong to you. This sounds time-consuming, but it may only take a few minutes to complete.

Remember to Search Under Deceased Relatives’ Names

There is a chance that a deceased relative may have left assets in your name as well. This may include bank or stock accounts, a final paycheck from a previous employer, life insurance benefits and more. You may need to obtain the mailing addresses or tax ID number of your deceased relatives to conduct a thorough search online.

Use a Professional Asset Locator

In some cases, individuals are fortunate enough to find unclaimed assets in their name or in a deceased relative’s name that they can claim as their own. However, there are other instances when you may be certain that assets are out there, but you cannot locate them on your own. For example, if a loved one passed away, you may be certain that there is a life insurance policy. However, you may need help locating it. A great idea is to use a professional asset locator service for assistance in this area. There is a fee for these services, but this is an exceptional way to gain access to the funds that are rightfully yours.

Claim Your Funds

It is not enough to simply locate your funds. You also need to claim them once you have located them. Each state has a unique claims process that you will need to follow. Typically, this process is rather simple and can completed without hassle. For example, you may simply need to make photocopy of your driver’s license to prove your identification and provide a copy of your utility bill to show your current mailing address. Most states only require proof of identity and current residency. However, some states have a more complicated process. In addition, some require you to mail the items into the department, and others may accept an email or faxed copy. As soon as the claim request has been received by the state department, the department will process your request. This may take one to two weeks or less in some cases.

While the thought that you may have unclaimed assets floating around that you are not currently aware of can sound too good be true, you will need to search for funds to determine if any are available in your name. Some people are surprised to learn that they have multiple assets that they can claim and that the funds owed to them are substantial. If you are ready to learn more about unclaimed assets in your name, take the first step to search state department websites.

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