There's A Lot of Unclaimed Property, But Which States Have Most of It?
There's a very substantial amount of unclaimed property in the United States, with $42 billion worth of it up for grabs. However, despite how much unclaimed property is available, the distribution of it is far from even; some states have considerably more than others.
If you've lived in a particular state for a long time or have lived in other states previously, it's going to be handy to know which states have an abundance of unclaimed property and which ones do not.
What Exactly Qualifies as Unclaimed Property?
Although unclaimed property is a pretty vague concept, things that qualify usually include money or assets that have a considerable monetary value. The most common types of unclaimed property are:
- Insurance Policies
- Physical Property
- Inherited Money
- Security Deposits
- Tax Returns
- Undeposited Payroll Checks
- Bank Accounts
Assets are considered to be unclaimed when they enter the hands of insurance companies, legal or financial institutions, or the government and it' obvious that they legally belong to someone, even if it's not clear who that is. Alternatively, miscommunications make it so that people aren't notified when there is an asset in their name that can be claimed.
Unclaimed assets can't just be arbitrarily seized and utilized by institutions, including the government, so they usually just remain untouched for years before someone eventually claims them.
Which States Have The Most Unclaimed Assets?
Unsurprisingly, states with larger populations and more robust financial sectors tend to have higher amounts of unclaimed assets. States such as North Dakota, Kansas, or Wyoming aren't likely to have incredible stockpiles of unclaimed assets (not that they don't have any!).
The following states have the most unclaimed assets available.
Home to a major international trading and networking hub, Seattle, Washington State has almost $1 billion in unclaimed assets available in the state. As the state sees a considerable amount of in and out migration and financial transactions, accounts, money, and property being left unclaimed is quite common.
Although Connecticut has a relatively small population of people, the amount of unclaimed assets in the state is absolutely huge for its size, at $750 million. The state is essentially an enclave for upper east coast financial and political big shots, so understandably there's quite a lot of leftover assets that get lost in the shuffle whenever someone moves to and from there. If you've ever stayed in Connecticut, even briefly, have done business there, or know someone who lived there, it's definitely possible there are some unclaimed assets with your name on them.
California has upwards of $8 billion worth of unclaimed assets in the state, making it one of the most common places to find unallocated property and other items. Unlike many other states where unclaimed property often consists of large, high-value assets, many of the unclaimed assets in California are smaller in value, meaning that potentially tens of millions of people are eligible for something.
Given how populous the state is, how many people have lived there previously, and how the nature of unclaimed assets in the state is more small-time, if you've ever had any business in California, it's highly probable you have an unclaimed asset of some kind in your name.
The biggest stockpile of unclaimed assets in the United States happens to be in New York, with almost $13 billion worth of stuff being up for grabs. As one of the world's largest financial hubs, it's unsurprising that assets frequently get left behind. The state is very populous, home to many financial institutions, sponsors numerous insurance companies, and is the base for many NGOs. If you've ever lived in New York, there's a good chance there are assets you've missed.
Finding Assets That Belong to You
There are a multitude of ways in which assets can get lost or you end up not being informed they belong to you. Regardless of whether you're aware of them though, these assets still legally belong to you and you're entitled to access to them.
There's no central database for unclaimed assets in the United States, so if you're on the lookout for some, then knowing where to look first can definitely cut down on search time.