smart spending

5 tips for finding unclaimed property

Property is held in state repositories
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All U.S. states and territories and the District of Columbia have programs that help owners of unclaimed property find those assets. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, there is at least $32.8 billion worth of unclaimed property in state custody.

The list includes checking and savings accounts, stocks, insurance payments, annuities, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments and a host of other things you may have forgotten you owned or didn't know were worth anything. Besides assets that come directly from financial accounts, state-held property also may include proceeds from the sale of stocks and bonds, or from safe-deposit box contents sold at auction when it became impractical to store them.

The NAUPA website has links to every state's department in charge of unclaimed property. It also links to, a national website in which most states participate.

"If you've moved around a lot, that may be convenient, instead of checking several different states," says NAUPA President John Gabriel. "But if you've pretty much been in one or two states only, it's easier to go directly to those states -- especially if your name is common -- so you don't have to filter through a bunch of (unrelated) stuff."




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