How To Collect Your Unclaimed Cash
I Found Money in My Name - Now What?
First off, congratulations are in order. It is estimated that over 32 Billion Dollars in Unclaimed Money is held by Federal and State Governments. Roughly 1 out of every 10 Americans has unclaimed property and the majority will never claim it or know it even exists. The number individuals who have actually reclaimed their funds is tiny in comparison. That you have done the hard work of searching through any number of databases and found yours is an excellent start. But how do you claim what's rightfully yours? You will have to prove that you, are indeed, you.
There are a number of documents and forms of identification that will help you in your quest to reclaim missing money. Each department that facilitates will have their own form for you to fill it. They will also have a list of acceptable forms for proving your identity. Let's now take a closer look at the most common forms of proof.
Proving You're You
If your name is listed, you will have to contact the institution listed as holding the money. In addition to filling out a claim form, proof of identity must be provided to whichever agency is holding your money - most likely with one or more of the following:
Social Security Number
Proof of Previous Addresses
Identification such as Drivers Licenses or Passports
Make sure that the name on your identification matches the name for who the lost funds belong to. Also make sure that if the funds were lost while you resided at a previous address, or even state, you have the documents that show you as the occupant during the time the money became lost.
In addition to this, be aware that you may not be the only individual that has your name. Many "John Smith's" are listed, you will need to be able to provide that you are, in fact, the "John Smith" to whom the funds belong.
Collecting Lost Money In the Name of Deceased Family Members
One of the most common search queries is in the name of deceased family members. The longer the life the more likely at some point money went missing. If you discover money in the name of a deceased relative you will want to contact the department that now holds the money and ask for their collection procedures for this. They will provide you with the documents, identifications and proofs that are necessary for having this money turned over to the deceased beneficiary. This can be a longer and more complicated process so make sure and ask all questions to the department and have a real understanding of the requirements before getting started.