These Are the Most Commonly Unclaimed Assets for 2020 So Far
Unclaimed assets are vast in number, accounting for about $7.4 billion at the moment. We've already discussed where to find these unclaimed assets in other posts. This time, we'll look at the types of assets that are most commonly unclaimed and can lead to large sums of money that you may never have otherwise seen.
Life Insurance Payouts
Life insurance is one of the biggest unclaimed assets. For example, some people's jobs pay for huge amounts of life insurance, and some choose to make their friends or siblings beneficiaries. Whatever the reason, life insurance companies certainly don't have an interest in letting you know that you have money waiting to be collected. They count on people losing touch and then being unaware when someone dies who had them on their life insurance plan.
These payouts can be immense, often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Remember, unclaimed assets don't gain interest over time. That money is going to be worth a lot more now than it will be in a few decades after accounting for inflation. This is one of the first sources where you should look.
Everyone's favorite government agency is also one of the biggest holders of unclaimed assets. This can be for a countless number of tax-related reasons. First, it may be because you overpaid taxes. Another common reason is that someone who didn't owe tax didn't file taxes. Even if you don't make much money and aren't liable for income tax, you should always file! You likely qualify for a good amount of tax credits.
If you don't file taxes, the IRS will not notify you if you're due credits and/or a refund. Instead, that's your responsibility to ensure. If you've ever not filed taxes, this is an especially good route to check. However, even if you have, there's a chance that there was an error in calculations or something else that has led to you being owed money back.
The dreaded security deposit seems to have perforated almost every consumer industry. From power service to Internet service to phone service to apartment rentals, security deposits can add up fast. However, years after paying it, you likely won't remember the details of it and may forget you paid it at all.
Especially if you move often, there's almost a guarantee that you have some unclaimed assets in the form of security deposits that were never refunded. A company may not give you back your deposit because they simply don't want to. More commonly, it's because the company was either shut down or bought out. In either case, you are still owed your money back.
Remnants of Past Jobs
Most Americans will swap jobs on a semi-regular basis. That's why it's important to ensure you don't lose any assets as you do. Remember, some companies require a "vesting period" for certain accounts, so you'll need to ensure that you qualify first. However, 401(k) and 403(b) plans are two of the most commonly lost accounts. That's because company-specific accounts are managed under a single umbrella. Often, accounts with under $5,000 cash value are automatically cashed out and sent to you. However, it's more questionable if it's either a small sum or a larger sum.
Other elements of old jobs, such as pension payments, may also be due to you. Especially if you've worked as a union worker, you're most likely entitled to a pension beginning at a certain age. It's quite possible that union benefits managers forgot to pay you when you were first owed these benefits. Make sure to read up on what you're owed and ensure it was given to you on time. If not, you're legally entitled to that money, and most agencies will fork over the pension as soon as the issue is brought up.
If You Still Couldn't Find Any Unclaimed Assets
No luck with these options? Remember, you should still check your own state's database, as well as databases run by any states in which you've lived. There are almost an infinite count of ways in which you could qualify to receive unclaimed assets. There's no use in letting them sit in a treasurer's office collecting dust. Some of them even have a statute of limitations before the state owns them, so it's better to check now rather than later.
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