Your Unclaimed Property
You might have more money or assets than you realize. There is currently approximately $2.4 billion in unclaimed property in Massachusetts. These lost funds are held indefinitely or until the original owners or heirs claim them. Unclaimed property includes unclaimed financial assets such as bank accounts, life insurance policies, pension funds, stocks, unpaid wages, uncashed dividends, uncashed checks, safe deposit boxes, and more. These assets are deemed unclaimed typically after 3 years have passed without any activity with the asset and when the owner has not successfully been contacted by the holder of the asset.
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When property is deemed as unclaimed it is reported to the state of the property owner's last known address. At this time, it goes into the custody of the state. It is then the state's responsibility to do everything possible to reach the owner or heirs of the property. This outreach is done through numerous avenues including social media, mailings, newspapers, and other local media coverage.
There are vehicles available for individuals to initiate searches for their or an estate's abandoned or unclaimed property. In Massachusetts search in findmassmoney.com. You can put a claim in for any property located on this site. Unclaimed.org is a very useful site to search for property throughout the U.S. on a state by state basis. You should check in all states where you have lived.
There are also a number of websites available to search for work related unclaimed property. To look for past wages that are unclaimed look at webapps.dol.gov/wow. Unclaimed retirement funds such as a 401(k) can be found at unclaimedretirementbenefits.com. Unclaimed pension funds can be found at pbgc.gov/wr/trusteed/plans.
The above websites offer you free resources to both find and claim unclaimed property. Be careful of sites that charge a fee. Remember unclaimed property laws are to protect the owners and heirs and estates. There are no time limits. Property will be kept by the state until the rightful owner or heirs claim it. Check these resources periodically to make sure that none of your property is unclaimed.