Unclaimed Funds: Secrets to Track Down Missing Bank Accounts & Investments
- Author: Mary Singleton
- Posted: 2023-02-17
You may be owed money from inactive bank accounts, forgotten investments, and other sources. Unfortunately, you aren't always aware of these funds owed to you until it's too late.
This lack of awareness and knowledge about unclaimed funds is a major problem affecting many people. The good thing, though, is that the state holds these unclaimed funds or property until someone claims them. This means, all you need to do is understand the process of locating and claiming unclaimed funds to get what's rightfully yours. To expedite that process, here are few trade secrets that you can have up your sleeve:
1. Check Your Records
Take a look at your records and check for missing bank accounts or investments. You should keep track of all financial portfolios you possess, including but not limited to insurance policies, tax refunds, and other investments. Make sure to make an inventory that contains each one, so you can review it regularly. This way, you can tell if something is no longer in use. When in doubt about any funds gone astray from your portfolio, get in touch with the relevant institutions for more information.
2. Search Government Websites
Want to see if you have unclaimed funds? Look no further than government websites. Various state treasurers and unclaimed property offices maintain records of any forgotten money. To get started, visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), where it's easy to search by your name and home state. You never know what kind of surprise might be waiting for you.
3. Utilize Online Tools and Services
If you're searching for unclaimed funds, various online tools and services are at your disposal. Some are free, while others require a fee. Before using them, look into their reputation and read customer reviews first. As an added precautionary measure, avoid signing up for anything that's demanding payment before the service. Be vigilant of scams that promise to uncover hidden funds for a fee.
4. Contact Former Employers
Check with your previous employers to see if you have any unclaimed funds from a 401(k) or a pension plan. Also, it's important to contact the company's current human resources department, as past employers' information may not be available for some time.
5. Check with Banks and Financial Institutions
Banks and other financial institutions have the mandate to maintain unclaimed funds. Reach out directly to your bank or financial institution if any of those funds belong to you, especially when closing a bank account or investment. It's an excellent place to start in your search for lost money. However, beware that you must prove ownership of the funds or account by answering security questions and providing identification.
6. Check with the IRS
Did you know that the IRS might owe you a refund if your mailing address was incorrect or for other reasons? Just go online and use the "Where's My Refund?" tool. It'll enable you to determine if the IRS owes any amounts. You may also contact the IRS directly to see if you have any unclaimed funds. On the other hand, you can consult a professional tax preparer to get an estimate of taxes owed by you.
7. Search for Estate Funds
Search for estate funds if you have a loved one that has passed away and believe they had some untouched money. Contact the estate executor or your state's unclaimed property office for more information on searching for those sums of wealth.
You should start by searching through the probate court dockets of the county where your loved one resided. Consider searching the Social Security Death Index, as well, which is available online. The unclaimed property websites for those specific states where your loved one resided could also yield beneficial results.
8. Utilize Unclaimed Funds Databases
These databases provide a helpful search for unclaimed funds held by a particular state or participating states, depending on the website you are using. Unclaimed.org and MissingMoney.com are amongst the most reputable search databases out there. They boast a comprehensive list of state unclaimed property offices that you can access for additional information on where to track down the money.
9. Monitor Unclaimed Property Auctions
Many states hold online auctions for unclaimed properties. These auctions can be a great way to get your hands on items like jewelry, coins, and antiques. It's advisable to check the rules and regulations of each state before entering an auction because they all have different regulations.
Lost funds can be a lucrative asset for anyone seeking to find unknown money. Utilizing these insider secrets can help you uncover untouched savings or investments that may belong to you. To maximize your success in this endeavor, you must remain dedicated and meticulous in your hunt. Consult legal aid to guarantee rightful compensation for what is rightfully yours if uncertainty arises.