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At Home with Kayla Price 1/28

At Home with Kayla Price 1/28
  • PublishedJanuary 28, 2022

How to Check for Unclaimed Property

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When is the last time you checked to see if you have unclaimed money or property in Texas or other states?  If your answer is never or last year, then you need to do a search!  It is easy to do and relatively easy to claim your property.  It is also totally free to search and to make a claim.You may think this doesn’t apply to you, but it may very well do so.  If you (or anyone from whom you inherited) ever failed to close a safety deposit box with contents, get a refund for a utility security deposit, or overpaid a medical expense, you will have money that was escheated to the state in which you lived.  The company holding the funds must follow IRS regulations as to how long they hold the property and when it is given to the state.You might be surprised to learn that I reclaimed a five-digit sum a deceased family member had deposited in an out-of-town bank for his business. The other heirs and I had no way to know the money existed until I searched my state’s online unclaimed property database.Depending on the circumstances, you may have a little paperwork, or a lot, to provide in order to prove your claim to the property. In the case of my deceased family member’s money, we had to provide a death certificate, will, and social security number, in additional to answering some questions. We did what we were asked to do, and each heir received a check in the mail.

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For your personal money, it will be much easier to claim the funds.About once a year I check my state’s unclaimed property site, which is through the Texas state comptroller’s office. You could do a search on “unclaimed property (your state)” and find the best way to search in your state.There is also a national database,, you may wish to search as well. The funds that appear on the Texas database do not always appear on the national site, so you will want to check both locations.

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Be sure to check the following:1. Your immediate family members, both living and deceased.  You can’t claim other people’s money, but you can make them aware of it.2. Any businesses currently or formerly owned by family members.3. Legal names as well as nicknames.4. Maiden and married names, including any short-lived marriages.5. Search more than just the state in which you currently live. You never know where your money could turn up.  Maybe you left a deposit for something vacation related in another state.

It will not take long to search. You will want to check the databases about once a year. When I owned a Texas business, we provided unclaimed funds to the state each year, after said funds had been dormant for three years. Even if you can’t find any money this year, there might be some next year!You may wonder the source of the funds. It might be from any number of sources, such as a utility deposit that was mailed to you after you moved and thus returned to the utility company, earnest money put in escrow for a house purchase that fell through, or a dormant savings account. Even abandoned safety deposit box contents are sold and the proceeds held for the rightful owner.By the way, you should not pay anyone to claim your money.  It is, after all, your money.  Try to stick to .gov or .org sites.  Although is a .com, it is sponsored by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.  It will be easier for you to claim the fund rather than another party.  The other party is going to have to get all the required information from you anyway!Good luck! I hope you find a pot of gold!

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Contributed by Kayla Price

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Written By
Taylor Nye

Taylor Nye is the editor of Front Porch News. She has degrees from the University of Wisconsin in human biology, Latin American studies, and public health. She has previously worked at the Wisconsin State Journal, Tucson Weekly and Sulphur Springs News-Telegram. As a sixth generation Hopkins County resident, she loves celebrating our heritage and history.