Your check is in the mail! Maybe it’s not because they can’t find you. Each year billions of dollars goes unclaimed because financial institutions lost track of the account owner or couldn’t find the beneficiary. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, $33 billion is being held in state treasuries around the country for 117 million accounts. One of them might have your name on it! Go to their website and choose your state. Then type in your name and see if you have any money.
Unclaimed property comes in many forms – savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividend or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes.
Some of these situations can be avoided with a little preplanning. It doesn’t make any sense to make premium payments on an insurance policy for years only to have the proceeds end up in the state treasury. Make sure your loved ones know they are beneficiaries of a policy and where the policy is kept. You should also provide the insurance company with sufficient information about your beneficiary -their full name, relationship to you, address and Social Security number. This info will help the company locate your beneficiary when it is time to pay benefits.
Be sure to review your beneficiary designations every couple of years as part of your estate plan review. This review should include updating the address of your beneficiary with the insurance company or the custodian of your retirement accounts. Prepare a list of all your insurance policies and bank and brokerage accounts and include information on where the physical policies are located. This list should be given to your Executor or Executrix along with a copy of your will.