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Unclaimed Money: How to find money you never knew you lost

Unclaimed money essentially can be hidden in many locations – abandoned bank and investment accounts, uncashed dividend checks and payments, tax refunds and funds due from canceled insurance policies. In 2012, about 2.5 million claims totaling almost $2.5 billion were returned to their rightful owners, with the average claim being $892.

The primary means to begin a search is to look online. One of the best sites is www.missingmoney.com, which is endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. It allows you to search in many states at once and it is free of charge. You can also check www.unclaimed.org which has links to unclaimed fund programs for each state.

There are several key elements to a successful search…

Firstly, be thorough and search in all states where you have lived. Also, one should search under maiden names, trusts or any businesses that you may have owned. It should be recognized that the documents required to obtain the missing funds vary depending on the amount of money involved and how much information the state already posseses.