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In the United States, the state where you live may be holding your money.  The good news is that they are only holding your money, not keeping your money.  About 20 years ago, I learned about state held unclaimed property.  Not only was I due about $300, but so were other members of my family, including my son.

Currently, the state of California is holding more than $8 billion in unclaimed property.  Wow!  It seems that about 32 million people and organizations in California need to check the Unclaimed Property website. If you receive a letter from someone who writes that they can, for a fee, obtain your money for you, throw away that offer.  You can easily do it yourself.

In California, the most common types of Unclaimed Property are:

  • Bank accounts and the contents of safe deposit boxes
  • Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
  • Uncashed money orders and cashier’s checks
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Insurance policies that have been terminated or who have reached maturity
  • Mineral interests, royalty payments, trust funds, and escrow accounts.
  • Apartment or utilities refund account
  • Retirement accounts

There are lots of reasons why we don’t know that the state is holding money. Sometimes someone dies and the heirs don’t know that there is money coming their way.  Account holders move but forget to notify the bank.  Accounts are closed but there is still some money in the account.  Sometimes, owners forget that they even have an account.

In California, you may be able to claim your property online.  Start by going to the search page. This page shows property that has already has been sent to the State for safekeeping, along with property that is about to be sent to the State by a business.  This is required by law.

When I clicked on the search buttons, I was surprised to find that there are 2 checks owed to me; $5 and $12 from  “Misc Outstanding Checks” from dividends. I only typed in my last name and that brought up all of my immediate family.

I can file electronically because the property value is less than $5000 and I am the only owner listed in the Property Details.

Be sure to look in every state where you have lived.  Look under your married name as well as your name before you were married.  You might as well check and see if your Ex-spouse has money coming to them, because some of it could come to you. If you have elderly relatives or family or friends who are ill, check for them too.

Here is a link for all of the USA to find out if your state is holding your money or property.