Unclaimed Assets May Await You
Now that tax season is in the rearview mirror, it’s time to check off one last item on the financial to-do list – looking for unclaimed assets.
Unclaimed assets could include anything from property to cold hard cash. Sometimes it might be a safety deposit box, a remaining credit on a closed utility account, an old insurance policy, or even stocks and bonds that have been lying dormant for years. The unclaimed asset might be something bought years ago, or it could be something that was bequeathed in a will. Maybe that adored, wealthy aunt left something in her will. Those assets still exist and are held under the recipient’s name.
The U.S. Treasury Department is tasked with assisting people in locating these unclaimed assets. Oftentimes people find they have unclaimed insurance policies from deceased relatives or even were named as beneficiaries in a retirement policy. These funds often go unclaimed until the beneficiaries search out and find this money. If there is money sitting out there waiting, how does one go about finding it?
First begin with the state where the recipient resides, or in his/her original home state. Go to https://colorado.findyourunclaimedproperty.com/, which will provide the option to look for property in each respective state. The process is fairly straightforward – select the state, and search by last name.
For the state of Colorado, once unclaimed property is discovered, the recipient provides their social security number and are then sent an email requiring additional identification verification methods and forms. Each state has a slightly different process and time frame, but expect a reply in a few weeks.
For a wider search use https://www.missingmoney.com/en/, this site allows the search to include several states. The search function is similar, and entering a name will potentially yield a lot of results as it searches for not just personal names but related businesses as well.
Finally, for those searching for anything from past taxes, VA benefits or pension funds, go to the government website, https://www.usa.gov/unclaimed-money. There are links to a variety of vetted websites.
As with any financial transaction, beware of scammers. Only go to trusted sites and those that are secured, usually indicated by a padlock in the address bar or if it says https. Don’t respond to any unsolicited emails or click on related links.
By Bryan Goodland