Today we welcome back guest contributor, Kay H. Bransford, who developed the award-winning MemoryBanc system to organize documents, accounts, and assets. You can read her previous article on how to downsize files and keep up with important documents here.
CNNMoney reported that $58 billion was sitting with state and federal treasurers. It is money lost in a move, a personal crisis, and death. It also includes life insurance, tax refunds, bank and retirement accounts that are forgotten or sit dormant after a death because loved ones didn’t know the assets or accounts existed. If you are planning or just moving into retirement, creating a roadmap to your documents, accounts, and assets is an excellent way to ensure you can easily find information when you need it, as well as prepare for a Plan B should a crisis emerge.
Our world is more complicated than it was just 20 years ago. One home phone number has turned into home and mobile phone accounts to manage; pensions now come in all forms of retirement plan options; and many companies and government agencies are pushing us online to manage medical reimbursements as well as account options. Because we haven’t yet adapted to manage all of this new information, the cost of disorganization to American families is now more than $58 billion and growing.
To see if some of the money sitting with state and federal treasurers is yours, visit MissingMoney.com. This site conglomerates the data from all 50 states. You can search by your name and it is a free service. You should search for yourself and loved ones—especially if you have lost a spouse or other close family member. My sister is the one that told me about this site. She found $2,500 of my dad’s that was sitting in Kansas. We moved from Kansas in 1969! If you find a possible match, you will be referred to the state site that will guide you through the process of validating your identity and claiming funds. We claimed my dad’s money and received the check in about 6 weeks.
If you use the site to search for loved ones, you have the option to email a notice if you have found some money that might be theirs. The site includes unclaimed bank accounts, safe deposit box contents; stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends; uncashed checks and wages; insurance policies, CD’s, trust funds; and utility deposits and escrow accounts.
Check out these additional sites to check for a variety of other unclaimed money pools:
- To claim S. Treasury securities, look for the section marked “Individuals” and then find a link for “Treasury Hunt.”
- Visit the FDIC website if you had an account in a failed financial institution.
- A pension search is offered at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Look for the option under New Visitor? marked to “Looking for an Unclaimed Pension.”
- To search for unclaimed 401(k) plans on The National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits. Look for a large button to “Perform a Free Search.”
Take the first step to see if you might be able to claim some of the $58 billion. Happy Hunting!
Kay H. Bransford developed the award-winning system to organize documents, accounts, and assets. Golden Girls Network members will receive a 20% discount using the coupon code “Golden” on any order placed at MemoryBanc.com.