3 Tips for Finding Unclaimed Money With Your Name on It
Whether facing an unexpected expense, needing repairs, or wanting to upgrade to the latest mobile device, everyone could use a little extra money now and again. You have a few ways to deal with this, including setting a stricter budget or taking up some sort of side job. But what if an easier way was available? What if you were owed unclaimed funds and didn’t even know about it? Property can go unclaimed for a variety of reasons, loss of contact being the most common, but fortunately you have numerous ways of finding it.
Start the Hunt Online
Search online for potential unclaimed funds for a start. As usual in the digital age, the internet provides a number of options. Once you’ve found your search engine, it’s a relatively simple process to search your name and state. You should check websites for each state you’ve ever lived in, because you can’t know where the unclaimed funds may be. These could come from anything such as back wages, tax refunds, or insurance funds, so it’s important to be thorough in your search. Things can get a bit more complicated once you’ve located any unclaimed funds. The process for claiming the funds can vary from state to state, but the Internet is a great place to start.
Even the IRS could be holding on to some of your money. Suppose you made a sudden move one year before your federal refund arrived. Check with the IRS for help to see whether that has happened to you.
Know Your State
Once you’ve located your unclaimed property, you’ll want to find out about the process of making a claim in your state. Most states require you to mail in a claim form, although a few will accept online claims. The state of New York, for example, allows online claims. In addition to the claim form for your state, you’ll generally need to provide some documents proving your identity. Typically, this includes documents such as a Social Security card, a driver’s license, utility bills, and W-2 forms. It’s useful to have such documentation in advance of filing your claim to speed the process.
In less common cases, it is possible that you may be owed unclaimed funds from the estate of someone who has died. This can happen when the deceased simply loses track of money late in life and is one of the most common ways property becomes abandoned. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, it may be useful to obtain services such as a probate attorney in Charleston. Services like this can also be useful when it comes to claiming funds if you are having difficulty proving they are owed to you or simply want to avoid going through the process yourself.
All told, you have no way to be certain how quickly the funds will be granted to you. Depending on the state, it can take anywhere from two weeks to six months to receive a check. It’s worth looking into, though, as with most states having more than a billion in unclaimed funds, and some of it might belong to you.
Also remember that scammers are acutely aware of people’s desire to find unclaimed property. Always be cautious about unexpected emails from those offering to reconnect you with lost money.