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Unclaimed Property

Your ‘Missing’ Money Awaits You

At least $33 billion sits in state treasuries and other agencies waiting to be returned to its rightful owners. And you may be among them.

This “unclaimed property” is from some 117 million accounts that are inactive or whose owners or their heirs cannot be located—including money from forgotten bank accounts and insurance policies as well as uncashed paychecks and dividends.

By law, financial institutions and other companies are supposed to try to reunite the owners with their lapsed loot. When they can’t, the money is turned over to the government of the state in which the account owner last resided.

The best way to get any payoff you’re entitled to is to check www.miss ingmoney.com or www.unclaimed.org. If you don’t have a computer, call the state treasurer’s office.

Search every state where you’ve lived, and check maiden names and those of deceased family members. Avoid private services that want upfront fees to search or stake a claim on your behalf.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.

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