A Financial Advisor's Experience with Unclaimed.Org
I'm a financial advisor, and I recently used unclaimed.org. It's great for finding lost money and property, and I've recently been able to re-claim a small amount of money from years ago. Yes, I was skeptical at first. I'm here to tell my story, and hopefully help others overcome their skepticism by explaining how the resource works.
Unclaimed.org is a website that helps people find and reclaim lost money or property through state-run programs. It links to individual websites hosted by each of the 50 U.S. states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., where individuals can search for any unclaimed funds or assets in their name, as well as those of family members or deceased acquaintances. Through these searches, many people have been able to reclaim lost money from forgotten bank accounts and other assets that were unaccounted for.
How does it work?
After navigating to unclaimed.org, all you have to do is choose the state in which you live, and it will take you straight to your designated state's unclaimed property portal. As every state has its own department of revenue, each search may look slightly different from one another; however, there exists a similar site known as missingmoney.com that claims to query all 50 states at once - but I'm sticking with the individual sites for better security measures!
On the state websites, you will be asked to enter your name. It will provide a list of existing "unclaimed property" that companies and organizations have turned over to the state. This happens when a company owes you money, say for a refund or an insurance payout, and cannot locate you for over a year. This happens more often if you move frequently, as mailed checks are returned to the sender.
My Experience Using Unclaimed.org
I was very skeptical about the process. I had seen a few other professionals (whom I respect) list this as a useful tool, but I could not find a detailed experience like I am writing here.
The success of my experience with Unclaimed.org was unexpected. After searching under Virginia, Florida, and Washington state, I found a single item in Washington for $32.19. Upon verifying the information by matching it with my last home address and the company details I had done business with, I couldn't help but feel skeptical about its legitimacy. But upon submitting my "claim", I received an automated email from the state of Washington informing me that the check for my claim would arrive within 1 to 2 weeks - which it did in six days. It was marked from the state of Washington Department of Revenue and included an invoice for the amount paid along with contact info for their department - all of which could be verified through a simple online search. This success led me to reach out to my family and friends, where I discovered over $4,000 in unclaimed assets. It's a shame that due to the high number of scams and frauds present in today's society, even the family of a Certified Financial Planner cannot trust such an official resource hosted by the US government. But mine is one story that proves this tool is real.
The success of my experience with Unclaimed.org proved to be an unexpected surprise. I hope this post has helped to ease any skepticism you may have had about the resource, and that it serves as a reminder to never give up on reclaiming lost assets. For additional help and guidance, contact your Certified Financial Planner. They can provide more personalized advice to make sure you get the maximum benefit from the resources available to you.