Do You Have Unclaimed Assets?

Cash RegisterThe idea of unclaimed assets is exciting to many people. If you are thinking, why would someone have unclaimed assets? According to an article[1] on the USA TODAY website, there are several reasons why someone would end up with unclaimed assets. One of the culprits for unclaimed assets is poor estate planning. Which of course immediately raised my antenna when I read those words.

The article, even shares some information on how to track down unclaimed assets that you may have an interest in. Are you curious to know if you have some mysterious stash of money somewhere?

  • First, you may think — did I leave some cash in an account at the small local bank in the town that I lived in years ago while there for my first job?
  • Second, maybe a long lost relative left me a surprise inheritance, and I will receive a bundle of money soon.
  • Third, does the idea of unclaimed assets conjure up visions of email scams that far too many unsuspecting people fall victim to everyday. You know, those claims of millions of dollars waiting for you if you send your hard earned money across the world before you can claim the funds. Beware of such dealings.
  • Lastly, if you have not provided the map for your assets and how they will flow upon your death, then you may have unclaimed assets. Of course these unclaimed assets will not be for your use. Instead, the beneficiaries of your assets will be determined when you are no longer around, and you have no control over how your assets will be distributed.

Get busy today making sure that your assets are easy to claim. Keep your beneficiary designations on insurance policies, 401Ks, mutual funds, bank accounts and other financial assets up to date. Put your estate plan in place with the proper documents and other strategies. Seek the help of an estate planning professional.

By Aquanetta J. Betts, attorney, speaker and blogger. Licensed in DC and MD.

This article is for informational purposes only and not intended to provide legal advice.

[1] Grant, Kelli B., CNBC. “Unclaimed assets: Are you missing money”? USA TODAY, 29 Aug. 2015. Web. 01 Sep. 2015. Disclaimer: Aquanetta J. Betts, Esq., has no affiliation with any of the services or websites mentioned in the USA TODAY article.

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