Everyone could use an extra bit of money now and then. Whether you’ve incurred an unexpected expense, you’re struggling to make current ends meet, or you’re thinking about investing in a new venture, everything you can get helps. You could always try setting a stricter budget for yourself or start a side job. Or there could be an easier way because there could be unclaimed money out there with your name on it.

In a world of scammers to watch out for, the idea of unclaimed money likely causes feelings of mistrust, or it may seem too good to be true. However, there is roughly $40 billion in unclaimed money in the United States, and all major countries have numerous resources for claiming lost funds. To find out if you have unclaimed funds, you’ll need to understand how assets go missing in the first place and how you can retrieve them.

How does money go missing?

Unclaimed money, also frequently called lost property, generally becomes lost after the rightful owner fails to collect it after a certain amount of time. The funds will then be held by the state. Money can go unclaimed for a variety of reasons, but a loss of contact is the most common cause. This typically occurs when someone moves before their previous job or a financial institution can send them their last check. If they have no forwarding address for the person, they will be unable to deliver the money, and it will become lost property. Unclaimed pensions are also fairly common when a company closes down. Unclaimed money will enter a dormancy period, typically of five years, before being handed over to the state’s treasury. Unclaimed funds are not taxed until the rightful owner files a claim.

Finding Unclaimed Funds

Searching online for any unclaimed funds is the simplest way to start working towards a claim. You have a number of options when it comes to search engines, and you can begin by just searching your name and state. You should go ahead and check every state you’ve ever lived in since you never know where unclaimed money could come from. While searching for unclaimed funds isn’t particularly tricky, you’ll need to know the guidelines for filing a claim in your state once you’ve found them.

Filing a Claim

Once you’ve found unclaimed funds, you’ll need to contact the appropriate state agency to file a claim. Steps to make a claim may vary by state, but you’ll always need documentation to prove your identity. This generally includes a state-issued ID, Social Security card, and verification of your current and past addresses. All agencies are prohibited from discussing unclaimed funds over the phone, although some states will allow you to submit a claim form online. Otherwise, you’ll need to submit a claim by mail. Turnaround time will vary by state. You may receive your money in a couple of weeks, or it could take up to a few months.

In less common cases, you may need to enlist help in order to prove unclaimed funds are owed to you. An example of this could be if you are owed funds from the estate of the deceased, which can happen when the deceased simply lose track of money later in life and it becomes abandoned. You may need to hire a probate attorney to sort out the situation. You may also need an attorney if you’re having difficulty proving that other funds are owed to you, and you simply want to save yourself some hassle.

Once the money has been returned to you, you’re free to use it on practically anything from buying a new car to hiring a Brisbane pool builder. Many people have home projects that they’d love to get accomplished; however, they aren’t able to fund them without some extra money. Pools are the perfect example of this since they also involve extra maintenance fees in a way that a kitchen remodel doesn’t. That being said, a pool builder like Bellevista Pools will help you make the most of your pool install. With over three decades of experience, they can create custom solutions that perfectly suit your needs and your home. No matter what you plan on spending your found money on, it’s always a good idea to look for a reputable company like Bellevista to handle the job. This ensures that your found money is put to the best use possible.

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