Unclaimed Funds: What You Need to Know

Johnnie Padberg
Published Mar 15, 2024

Have you ever heard of unclaimed funds? If not, you're not alone. Unclaimed funds represent forgotten or lost money or assets, and the rightful owner has yet to claim them. It can happen for various reasons, including when someone dies without a will and their relatives are missing, a business goes bankrupt, and the owners can't be found. You must follow the proper procedures to claim these funds, and it's important to know that there are deadlines for claiming them.

The following are some common types of unclaimed funds:
• Bank account balances

• Uncashed checks

• Insurance benefits

• Utility deposits

• Stock dividends and bonds

• Wages and commissions

• Royalties

If any of these suit your case, don't delay claiming them. The process can take some time, but getting the money or assets is worth it. The following information will help you get started in the process of claiming unclaimed funds and assets:

Figure Out the State Holding the Unclaimed Funds

It's an essential step because each state has its laws and procedures. You can search for unclaimed money or assets in your state by going to the website of NAUPA. Once you're on the website, select your state from the drop-down menu, and it directs you to the appropriate state website.

Search for the Unclaimed Funds

You can search for the unclaimed money or assets owed to you on the state website. Each state website is different, but most have a searchable database that you can use. You will need to provide some basic information to start the search, such as your name. If there are any matches, you'll be able to view them and see if you're the rightful owner.

Provide the Relevant Documentation to Claim the Funds

If you find that you are the rightful owner of unclaimed funds, the next step is to provide the relevant documentation to the state. It varies depending on the type of money or assets, including a death certificate, the last will, a testament, or a bank statement. After gathering the required documentation, submit it to the state online or by mail. Providing the right information ensures that the process goes smoothly and that you get the desired money or assets. It also avoids delays in getting your unclaimed funds.

Claiming Physical Assets

If you're claiming physical assets, including jewelry or a painting, you must provide proof of ownership. It could include a bill of sale, an insurance policy, or an appraisal. Once you have gathered the required documentation, follow the highlighted submission procedure.

Claiming a Deceased Relative's Funds or Assets

If you are claiming unclaimed funds on behalf of a deceased relative, you will need to provide proof of your relationship with the person. The process is similar to claiming them for personal property. You will need to provide proof of ownership and the required documentation, for example, a death certificate and a will. Be cautious about providing as much documentation as possible to avoid delays in getting the money or assets.

Remember to Follow Up

It's important to remember to follow up on the process after submitting your claim to ensure a smooth processing procedure. Each state has its timeline for processing claims, so you must be patient. However, it ensures that your claim remains on course.

Beware of Scams

Unfortunately, there are scams out there that prey on people trying to claim unclaimed funds. Be cautious of any fraudulent offers that require you to pay a fee to claim your money. These are usually scams, and you will not get your money back if you fall for them. The best way to avoid them is to do your research and only work with reputable organizations, such as the NAUPA.

Report Any Suspicious Activity to the State

If you encounter any suspicious activity related to unclaimed funds, such as someone trying to sell you a list of unclaimed assets, report it to the state. You can help protect others from falling victim to them by reporting them. Additionally, many states have helpful programs to help you reclaim your unclaimed funds without falling for a scam.

The above steps will help you claim any unclaimed funds or assets owed to you. Research, gather the required documentation and follow up with the state to ensure a smooth process. However, don't give up if the process seems daunting at first. You'll get the money or assets you're entitled to because you have the right to unclaimed funds With a bit of effort.


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