How to Prevent Your Assets from Becoming "Unclaimed" in a Few Easy Steps
Today we'll be focusing on how to prevent assets from becoming unclaimed.
Remember, even if an asset is reclaimed, only its initial amount can be taken back.
When it comes to unclaimed assets seized by the government, Iowa's previous State Treasurer, Michael Fitzgerald, reports that his office receives millions of dollars a year to hold as "unclaimed assets."
To ensure that your money doesn't end up on his (and other treasurers') desk, he provided these easy tips:
1. Do This with All Checks
Did you receive a check, especially one from a party that would wish to deny you money?
This could be:
- an ex-spouse paying alimony
- someone who lost a lawsuit against you
- anyone you're in an adversarial relationship with who was forced to issue a check to you.
Different states have different laws on how long they can be considered valid.
- Cashier's checks are generally always valid since they're issued by the bank
- Personal checks, on the other hand, may only be valid for 30 days
It's important not to delay cashing or depositing a check.
Avoid this by using a bank or credit union with mobile deposit features.
All you'll need to do is:
- Endorse the check.
- Follow directions.
- Take a picture of the front and back of the check.
In most cases, you'll have the money by the next day, at the latest.
2. Provide a Detailed "Asset Report"
- you trust; and
- who's likely to outlive you.
Create a document listing the full details of all of your accounts and legally-owned assets.
Give that document to a reliable lawyer.
Then, file a will that makes it very clear that all your assets should go to your chosen designated beneficiary.
Every account you own should also have an "internal beneficiary," or one that is retained by the bank itself.
3. Change Your Address Everywhere
One of the major causes of "unclaimed assets" is frequent relocation.
This is especially true for members of the Armed Forces and others with similarly mobile jobs.
Every time you move, you need to formally change your address with the United States Postal Service (USPS), the only federal entity that keeps track of your new address.
This process is free, and will ensure that any mail sent to your old address will be forwarded to your new one for up to a year.
You should also change your address information with all financial institutions.
Keeping a full list of your assets, as explained in Step 2, can make this task much easier.
What Else Can I Do?
Unfortunately, some situations are unavoidable.
If a loved one passes away suddenly, sometimes there's no way to determine their last will if it isn't available.
That's why it's important to stay on top of current trends in the unclaimed asset market!
Knowing when you're entitled to assets could save you thousands or even millions of dollars.
Better be prepared than sorry later on!
Related ArticlesView all posts
Billions of Assets Go Unclaimed Each Year!...
If you have ever moved, changed jobs, filed a tax return, or had a relative pass away; there's a good chance you have unclaimed assets. Unclaimed money consists of billions of dollars that have been abandoned at financia...
How to Get Your Forgotten or Lost Money without Breaking the Bank...
Everyone knows that feeling of frantically searching for something you know you had just a second ago. You look in all the usual places, but you give up, resigned to the fact that you'll never see...
Everything You Need to Know about Finding Unclaimed Funds...
There is a good chance that you have money waiting for you, and you don't even know it exists. The money is called unclaimed funds, and it's sitting there waiting for you to claim. However, finding...
Unclaimed Property May be the Ultimate in Unclaimed Funds...
More and more people are exploring the world of unclaimed funds, hoping that a quick search online will lead them to some money in their name somewhere. What many of these folks don't realize is unclaimed fund...
Discover Your Hidden Treasure: Reclaiming Lost Funds in Alaska...
Alaska’s Unclaimed Property Law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, corporations, businesses, and certain other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to the...
How to Tell Whether an Unclaimed Asset Site is Legitimate or Not...
The unclaimed asset industry is a huge industry with tens of billions of dollars up for grabs. Naturally, this attracts scammers. Among them, there are two main types. The first steals your information...