Missing Money

Sometimes money is missing because it isn’t where you remember putting it or it can also be because someone felt that they are entitled to your money and took it. In the case of unclaimed money, the person who the money belongs to may not even realize there is missing money that is sitting in an account waiting to be claimed. These funds can be from a variety of sources.

Unclaimed Money Sources

The most common way that money ends up missing is when someone passes away and they didn’t share their asset information with their family. They may have had the following:

· Stocks
· Bonds
· Savings account
· Checking account
· Retirement money

This money will stay with the bank or other financial institution and held as a dormant account until the owner or heirs claims the funds. Money can also be from a tax refunds, failed banks, insurance, savings bonds, uncashed checks, deposits, and insurance policies. Each state has a government website and they can be searched to see if there are any unclaimed assets in your name or a family member. Occasionally there may be property or other items that may have been sold and the money put aside until it is claimed.

Finding Money That is Hiding

Websites and public records can be sources to find money that you are entitled to. There are companies that will locate money that has been sitting around and then search for the person or their heirs. In exchange for finding the money and researching who is entitled to the funds the company will retain a portion of the money. If you can’t find the money on your own or don’t have access to all the heirs in the case of a family member who is deceased, it is well worth the fees.

There are companies that are fraudulent and claim they have found unclaimed assets when in fact they haven’t. It is important that you do not give your social security number or bank account numbers to these companies. The fees should come out of the settlement instead of being paid up front. Research the company before you agree to anything and read what you sign to protect yourself from being a victim.

Reuniting Funds and Family

When there are genuine unclaimed funds found it might be hard to reunite the money and people. If the person is still alive the process is simplified but for assets that belong to someone who is deceased, then it gets complicated. Decades ago if a person didn’t have a forwarding address or phone number, it was nearly impossible to track them down. Currently most people are easily located through a few Internet searches. What can be complicated is determining all the family members that may have a right to a portion of the missing money that has been discovered. Once it is determined who has a right as an heir, then each of them will need to be contacted. Even with modern day technology, this can be challenging. Once everyone has been identified and found then the funds can be distributed.

Preventing Money From Being Lost

Everyone, no matter what their age, should have all their financial information in one spot that one or two trusted family members or friends will have access to in the event of someone passing away. This will prevent you from forgetting about an account that is rarely used and also make sure that if anything happens to you that all assets are distributed promptly to your heirs. This should be in a very secure place to prevent theft. It can be helpful to include passwords to accounts.

Finding missing money in a pocket or at the bottom of a purse is always great but larger amounts, like those that are unclaimed can be even better!

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