Have you ever heard of unclaimed property? It’s a term used to describe assets that have been left behind by their owners. These assets can range from forgotten bank accounts, to stocks and bonds, and more. Whatever is yours will always be yours–this best describes the unclaimed property. In this article, we’ll explore what unclaimed property is, how it works, and some tips for finding out if you have any unclaimed assets.
Unclaimed Property Explained
With the current state of the economy, many people are looking for old sources of money that they have lost or forgotten about. As a result, some people actually have unclaimed properties ready for them to claim. However, the question is: how did these properties become unclaimed in the first place? Unclaimed properties are assets that are inactive for a certain period of time. As a result, these assets were turned over to the state and are left unclaimed until their rightful owner comes back to claim them. This period of inactivity, however, is known as the dormancy period.
Unclaimed Property Types
Unclaimed property can take on a variety of types, such as:
- Contents of safety deposit boxes
- Payments for insurance
- Payment of certain royalties
- Checks for travelers
- Overpayments in some cases
- Uncashed pay stubs or dividends
- Amounts due on unredeemed money orders (in particular states)
- Refunds from insurance
- Certificates of Deposit
- Deposits for utility services
- Distributions from trusts
The types of unclaimed property fall into two main categories, and they are:
- Tangible: An example is the contents of safety deposit boxes.
- Intangible: Examples are stocks and uncashed pay stubs.
Unclaimed Property: Where Can Individuals Find It?
Locating unclaimed property requires a little bit of searching. Fortunately, the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) website provides a map to help people find the official government unclaimed property program for their state or province. Each state will have different tools that people can use to search for any unclaimed property. Subsequently, the most important part is that people fill out as much information as they can about themselves to find accurate results. The search for an unclaimed property can also be done online at many websites. That’s because unclaimed funds come from various sources, so anyone searching for them should look into:
- Financial Sources
- Previous Employment
Financial sources are a typical source of unclaimed property, and some include:
- SEC Claims Funds: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website allows people to easily check if they are owed any unclaimed money.
- Savings Bonds: The TreasuryHunt.gov website allows users to search for matured savings bonds issued in their name that no longer generate interest for what they could be entitled to.
- Bank Failures: In the event of bank failures, people can determine whether they have any money thanks to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
- Credit Union Failures: In the event that a credit union fails, individuals can use the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to search for unclaimed funds.
Claiming a tax refund can be a stressful and tedious process. Accordingly, to make things easier, the IRS has set up an online website. This was done to help people get their due funds in a quick and efficient manner. With this website, people can easily find out how much money they are due and take steps to claim it.
People looking to reclaim their pensions should check this website. Essentially, the credit for creating this website goes to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Additionally, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) has a website for people who have not received their full pay from prior jobs. This is because the DOL recognizes that unpaid wages can be a serious problem and that everyone deserves to be paid for their efforts.