Money Lost and Found – Show Me The Money!
As regards Estate Planning, the goal is to be inclusive of all assets and benefits. Invariably, several years after the death of a loved one, lost money can show up. Usually a few times a year, frequently before the holidays or tax season, you will hear a news story about how the government has billions of dollars that no one has claimed. From time to time I go to a number of websites and look under the names of family and friends only to find out that there is money out there that can’t find them. Sometimes it is pennies, and other times, thousands of dollars. I found several hundred dollars of a rental deposit for my brother, I also found several thousand dollars of stock and dividends for my wife, from her deceased father’s last long term job. It took us several months to organize and present all the birth, death, marriage and address information to verify the claim, but we ultimately received the money.
Here are several links to potentially help you find money or property being held by the government.
- State-held unclaimed property: Visit NAUPA’s unclaimed.org for a map with links to each state’s program.
- Life insurance: For benefits not held by the state, check the insurer’s site directly. For example, MetLife has an online search.
- Pensions: For Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. benefits, visit the agency’s online search directory.
- U.S. savings bonds: More than 45 million matured savings bonds, worth nearly $16 billion, remain unredeemed, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. To search the database, visit treasuryhunt.gov.
- Tax refunds: The Internal Revenue Service always has hundreds of millions in tax refund checks that are undeliverable. To make sure you’ve received your checks, visit the IRS’s Where’s my refund? tool.
The moral of this story is that a good Estate Plan has everything included with nothing lost by you or your family. Now you have a list of resources to Show You The Money! We would love to hear from you that you checked out these links and were able to find some missing money for you, your family or friends. Share your success stories. Good luck and happy hunting.
Fred Begun is Senior Counsel in the San Jose office of Borton Petrini and practices in family law and estate planning.
Legal Disclaimer: Nothing in this Blog is intended as specific legal advice. Borton Petrini, LLP has a number of skilled family law attorneys ready and able to assist you. If you need assistance with your family law case, it is our sincere hope that you will reach out to the lawyers at the Borton Petrini office nearest you so that we can assist you.