What is Unclaimed Property and How do I Get Mine Back?

Your state may have money that belongs to you!  Lost, mislaid, and abandoned property is a category of personal property which has left the possession of its rightful owner without having directly entered the possession of another person.In the United States, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws sought to address the problems arising from these types of property through provisions of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act. As a result of the Act, each state operates an Unclaimed Property Fund that collects and safeguards money and other valuables which have been unclaimed by residents for a specific period of time, generally three to five years.  Unclaimed assets include, but are not limited to: savings or checking accounts, uncashed checks, deposits, stocks, bonds or mutual fund shares, traveler's' checks or money orders, and life insurance policies. Due to the increasing mobility of the population, the vast majority of states (and at least two Canadian provinces) have joined together to operate MissingMoney.com.  This site is a searchable database which lists unclaimed funds for several states.  This website will help you search for any unclaimed property by just entering your name.   It also gives you links to every state’s appropriate website and contact information for their Unclaimed Property Division.

In Connecticut, the Office of State Treasurer collects and safeguards money and other valuables which have been unclaimed by Connecticut residents.  If you are the rightful owners or an heir, you always have the right to claim funds held by the Treasury.  There is no time limit for you to claim this money. In accordance with state law, the assets are transferred to the Treasurer by entities such as banks, insurance companies, stock transfer agents, utilities, hospitals, retail, manufacturing and service companies following a loss of contact with the owners of record.  These assets are held in the custody of the Treasurer until claimants come forward or are located.  You can easily search at no charge the Unclaimed Property database through the Treasury’s unclaimed property website CTBigList.com. During fiscal year 2010, the Connecticut Unclaimed Property Division returned more than $33.4 million to just under 17,400 owners.  As of June 30, 2010, the website has $532.8 million in escheated property with almost 923,000 owners listed.

ACTION ITEM:  Visit the MissingMoney.com or CTBiglist.com to see if they have any money for you. Thomas F. Scanlon, CPA, CFP®

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