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# How To Find Unclaimed Property And Claim It

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This ebook will teach you step by step how to find unclaimed property and how to claim it. Billions of dollars in unclaimed money are just waiting to be claimed.
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• Tags: unclaimed money, unclaimed property, lost money, unclaimed funds, unclaimed assets
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Content Preview
How to Find Unclaimed Money and Claim It
Millions of dollars in unclaimed property are turned over annually to each State’s
unclaimed property division by businesses and organizations who cannot locate the
owners, beneficiaries or heirs. This unclaimed property includes bank accounts,
stock certificates, checks, wages, refunds, and death benefits just to name a few.
There is over \$35 billion in unclaimed property and this number is growing
substantially each and every year.
How to start your unclaimed property search
Every state has its own unclaimed property statutes and handles their unclaimed
property slightly different. Regardless of what state office handles the unclaimed
property they all have a specific section for unclaimed property. Though many go
by different names such as unclaimed property division, unclaimed property unit,
bureau of unclaimed property or whatever fancy name they come up with it’s all the
same.
It’s also important to note that there is no one central database to search for
unclaimed property since each state keeps its own separate records. One such
website that is trying to become a centralized database for unclaimed property is
MissingMoney.com. Some states across the U.S. are in fact using
MissingMoney.com as their central database, so don’t be surprised if some states
direct you to this website to perform your search.
Performing your search and getting accurate results
division website. After arriving at your state’s website be sure to follow their exact
search instructions. Some states search functions are a bit finicky so it’s important
that you try many search variations. Additionally, you need to search every state
you have ever lived in even it was only for a short amount of time. The reason for
this is that since every state keeps its own records they also do not share records
with each other.
Assuming you have found unclaimed property in your name you will want to follow
exact instructions given by your states unclaimed property website to claim the
account. You will need to show proof that the unclaimed property is in fact yours to
claim. They will have a form you can print and fill out to mail in. On this form you
will include your information and the unclaimed property docket/claim/account
number or whatever your state calls it. You will also be attaching all the proof of
ownership possible to this form. This means providing any and all information the
state is asking for as proof of ownership. Often times it will be a state issued I.D.

and possibly a birth certificate. Additional information can also include proof that
you lived at the address that is on record for the respective unclaimed property
account.
A real life example of one of my claims: I had an unclaimed property account in
Oregon showing with a very old address. At this time was I was living in Phoenix,
Arizona and the Oregon Unclaimed Property Division required that I show proof that
I had lived at that address in Oregon. So, I simply called up my old auto insurance
company in Oregon and asked them to mail me an old statement that had that
address on it. It was very quick and easy to do and the insurance company was
happy to help. I attached that letter to the state required form and they sent me
my check for \$180.00. Ironically enough, the \$180.00 was actually a refund from
my old insurance company that I had asked to send me proof of residence. I did
not find this out until after I had received the check from the Oregon Unclaimed
Property Division.
The above example goes to show you how important it is to take the time and
gather all the evidence you can before sending your unclaimed property claim form
to your State’s Unclaimed Property Division. Furthermore, these unclaimed property
divisions take anywhere from 30 to 90 days to respond to each claim, so if you do
claim process.
When relatives pass away
Oftentimes relatives pass away suddenly and unexpectedly. Sometimes they have
their final will and testament in place and sometimes they do not. In any case, you
need to search your name and other family member names in the state they
passed away in as that is where the unclaimed property will be submitted to. This
kind of unclaimed property is often accounts with a named beneficiary including but
not limited to bank accounts, life insurance, death benefits, stocks, safe deposit
boxes and much more. It can take as long as 1 to 2 years for this unclaimed
property to show in the database after the person has passed. To claim this kind of
property that has you named as a beneficiary you typically just need to show proof
that you are who you say you are, death certificate of the deceased, and some sort
of proof that you were related to the deceased.
My real life example of claiming an account with myself named as the
beneficiary:
My family was never close. In fact, I didn’t even hear about my
grandfather passing until years afterwards. Even more years past, and one day my
mother mentioned that my grandfather had said something to her when I was just
a baby about having set up a trust fund. Needless to say, this sparked my curiosity.
What if he did set up a trust fund and I somehow was never informed. So, I started
searching around the web and learning about unclaimed property and how it works.

I then started piecing together as much information as I could on my grandfather
and later found out he died in Michigan. After searching for my name at the
Michigan unclaimed property website I found an unclaimed property account with
my name on it. I had no idea what it could be and the Michigan website did not give
any details on the account. I then filled out the inquiry form and submitted my
photo I.D. and sent it in. About 3 months passed by and I received a letter with
more details on the unclaimed property account. The account was left to me by a
female’s name I had never even heard of. I actually had to do some research at a
Seeley Genealogy website I found to find out it was my great aunt. Now at this time
I did not even know I had a great aunt and I surely did not know she had passed
away. Well, it turned out she left me just over \$9,000 dollars that had been waiting
to be claimed for almost 8 years at this point.
This left a bit of a problem though. I had never met or heard of my great aunt
before and the state was asking for proof that I was related to her. So, I started
with my grandfather since I knew it was his sister and I could show proof that I was
related to him since his information was on my birth certificate, certificate of
baptismal papers, and my father’s death certificate. The first thing I did was head
over to VitalCheck.com and requested my grandfather’s death certificate which was
very easy to do. After receiving my grandfather’s death certificate I was able to
send in the information required to retrieve my great aunt’s death certificate. I was
then able to show proof to the state of Michigan that was related to my great aunt
by sending in my birth certificate, my father’s death certificate, my grandfather’s
death certificate, my great aunt’s death certificate and my certificate of baptismal
papers which had my grandfather’s name listed on them.
The state of Michigan then set up a probate hearing which I had to attend even
though I was living in Arizona at this time. At the probate hearing the Judge asked
some basic questions and then granted me the \$9,000. It was not too bad, it only
took about one day to fly there, attend court and fly back. The money was not
issued right away though. I had to wait about 6 more weeks to receive the check in
the mail. I can tell you it was all well worth the small amount of work.
Claiming deceased relatives unclaimed property
This is a very complex subject and in all honesty I am not able to provide exact
instructions on this. However, in regards to searching for unclaimed property owed
to deceased relatives the process is the same as above. When it comes to actually
claiming it there are many factors that can come into play. The first piece of
information you will need to find out is if the relative you are claiming for had a will
and testament. If so, you will need to track that down if you were not contacted.
This is the first thing the state will ask for when you go to claim a deceased
relatives unclaimed property. Each case is different and depends a lot on the type

of unclaimed property you are trying to claim. You will want to communicate closely
with the respective state you are working with to claim this property. Ask as many
questions as necessary to obtain all the information on what documentation you will
need to provide in order to claim this property. I hate to say it, but a lot of people
at the unclaimed property divisions have no idea of what documentation is actually
needed to claim a deceased relative’s property. Don’t just take one government
employee’s word for it, keep calling and talking to different employees until you get
one that is willing to work with you and knows their stuff. Believe me, I had to do
this to claim my larger check. I will not go into detail on what this government
employee said to me, but had I listened to her and took her word for it I would not
have gotten my check for over \$9,000. She clearly had no idea what she was
talking about yet managed to state it as a fact. The bottom line, most government
employees are lazy, lack communication skills and just don’t care. You are going to
have to fight for your money if it is a larger amount.

How To Find Unclaimed Property And Claim It

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