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TOPIC: Unclaimed Money....Go Get It Already
Unclaimed Money....Go Get It Already 8 Years, 7 Months ago Karma: 0  
I saw a program on Dateline NBC that dealt with unclaimed monies and I was astounded as to how many people fail to claim what is rightfully their's. A basic internet search can direct you as to where to search in relation to the specific state where you may have unclaimed monies.

If someone handed you a check, no strings attached, would you take it? In this economy, many of us would consider it. Do you have money waiting to be claimed? Now is as good of a time as any to claim it!

Under state and federal laws, unclaimed money (and certain other types of property) must be held until its rightful owner can be located. This property would include:

Bank accounts, including checking and savings accounts, as well as CDs
Unclaimed paychecks
Company stock
Dividend payments
Insurance payments
Trust distributions
Security deposits paid to utility companies
Unredeemed money orders
Unused gift certificates (in some states)
The contents of safety deposit boxes (which are usually sold, and the value of the sold property is held for its rightful owner)
The estate of someone who dies without a will and with no known relatives
According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, owners claimed $1.754 billion in abandoned property in 2006, and $32.877 billion in unclaimed property is still being held by state administrators.

State laws govern the process, but in general, companies must take certain steps to locate the owners of unclaimed or abandoned property. If the owners can't be located after a certain amount of time, the property is turned over to the state, which will hold onto it until the owners are found.

To find out whether there's money being held in your name, search the state databases of unclaimed property.

Unclaimed property is turned over to the state in which a person is known to have last lived. If there is no known address for the property's owner (or if the owner has a foreign address), the unclaimed property is turned over to the state in which the business holding the property is headquartered.

If you're like me and have lived in several states, you should check the databases in all of the places where you've lived. You should search the state databases at least yearly. The states give companies a varying amount of time (usually ranging from one to five years) to locate the owners of unclaimed property. Once property is turned over to the state, it will be kept forever until the owner or an heir claims it. However, the money is not earning interest, so it makes sense to claim it promptly.

If you're the executor of an estate or an heir, you should also search the databases for a few years after a person's death. When writing this article, I searched for a deceased family member's name, and found some unclaimed property of theirs. (I sent an email to the executor, who would be responsible for claiming it.)

The databases of better-organized states will provide some basic details about the unclaimed property:

The owner's last known address
The name of the company that reported the property as unclaimed
The value of the property

Claiming your property is relatively easy, though it will require you to prove you're the rightful owner.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this. Call the law office of Andrew Farmer for a free consultation regarding any area of law at (865) 428-6737. We serve clients throughout Tennessee and out of state clients. We have served clients in Maryville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Dandridge, Newport, Kingsport, Knoxville, Morristown, and many other towns and cities. We are here to help!
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