Unclaimed property amounts to millions of dollars globally. According to the 2006 national association of unclaimed property administrators report, states paid about 1.9 million to owners. Sadly, most properties collected by most government agencies are never claimed. All isn’t lost, though! You can still get your rightful share, and the process is easy.
What is unclaimed property?
Unclaimed property refers to physical property or accounts with financial institutions or accounts with no activity or contact with the owner for over one year or longer. These can be tangible or intangible and are turned over to the state after years of inactivity.
Examples of intangible deserted properties are security deposits, trust funds, insurance policies, and escrow accounts. On the other hand, the tangible unclaimed asset may include real estate properties, land, and safe deposit boxes.
Dealing with unclaimed property requires the expertise of a property dispute lawyer. In the case of land or property wrangles, the attorney can help in subdividing the land and transferring titles to the rightful owners.
How can you find and claim unclaimed property?
- Find out whether you have unclaimed property
Unclaimed property is usually reported to the state of residence. Therefore, you can have unclaimed property in different states, especially if you have moved a lot. To find out whether you have abandoned property, check with the state’s unclaimed property website and ascertain whether you’re owed any funds. If you have traveled a lot, consider sites like missiongmoney.com and unclaimed.org. You’ll only need your name and city of residence to check for any missing funds.
- Fill a claim
Most properties get abandoned due to death, forgetfulness, relocation, or negligence. However, you can claim the property back by filing a claim with the appropriate state. All states have a way of locating unclaimed properties, and if you or a relative claims an asset, the authority considers the claim within 90 days and gives a written notice about its decision.
If the request is allowed, the state pays or delivers the asset to the claimant. However, it’s somewhat complicated to fill the claim as a relative; you need additional documentation like a death certificate and proof of authority over the estate as a personal representative.
Do you need a lawyer to reclaim your property?
Reclaiming abandoned property can be tedious and time-consuming. The process is complex, and an attorney can help you take the necessary steps to get back your assets. The property attorney will also represent you if you wish to follow up on the property through a court process. If following up property owned by a deceased relative, the state could also be holding other assets that the owner lost track of, and a lawyer can help you locate them.
The bottom line
Turning unclaimed property to the state makes it easy for owners to claim it later on. However, you must follow specific legal procedures to get your property back. In most cases, the services of a professional lawyer will come in handy. They will guide you in the process and help you prove that the unclaimed property is rightfully yours.