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Maintain and share records and stay in touch to ensure money does not become unclaimed money

It is imperative to safeguard one's money to ensure that it does not become unclaimed money. If you can be contacted, the money does not become unclaimed money. Your money being operated by strangers simply because it has become unclaimed money! Money becomes unclaimed money only when the account remains idle for more than three years. Keep track of all savings and checking accounts that you have opened for yourself or your kids, all investment accounts, all insurance policies, all employers who may still owe you money, all pension accounts, all retirement accounts, all stocks purchased, all utility deposits and escrow accounts.

Just because you have deposited your money in the bank does not mean it is completely safe. There have been innumerable instances of money in the bank account of the individual being handed over to the state or the federal government because the same had become unclaimed money. It is imperative to safeguard one's money to ensure that it does not become unclaimed money. Escheat laws shall apply to your account if two conditions are fulfilled. One- the institution must be unable to contact you at the contact information placed on record in the file created by the institution. If you can be contacted, the money does not become unclaimed money. Two- the account must have been idle for at least three years. Three years of inactivity compels the institution to hand over the money to the government. If your inheritance becomes unclaimed money, you cannot enjoy the same as it would then be in the possession of the government. Same is the case with bank accounts, stocks, safety deposit boxes and other such assets. Your money being operated by strangers simply because it has become unclaimed money! Shocking! Inculcating certain habits and rules as far as your finances are concerned should be sufficient to ensure that your money does not end up with the government in the form of unclaimed money. If you know where and how your money can become unclaimed money, you would have won half the battle. Money becomes unclaimed money only when the account remains idle for more than three years. The account remains idle because the account holder is no longer aware of its existence. Maintaining proper records can ensure this problem does not arise. Keep track of all savings and checking accounts that you have opened for yourself or your kids, all investment accounts, all insurance policies, all employers who may still owe you money, all pension accounts, all retirement accounts, all stocks purchased, all utility deposits and escrow accounts. To ensure that your efforts do not waste in the event of your sudden demise, provide a copy of the list to your executor, spouse and/ or heir. This will ensure that your property does not become unclaimed property simply because the information related to all your accounts was not in possession of your survivors. Money becomes unclaimed money when the account remains idle for three years AND the account holder is untraceable. Ensure that you are never untraceable by informing the institutions and organizations that are holding money on your behalf or that owe you money. Copy the format given below, fill in the relevant information and you will have the letter that you ought to send after change in contact address. ((INSERT Date)) ((INSERT Company Name)) ((INSERT Department You Are Contacting i.e. Customer Service)) ((INSERT Company Address)) ((INSERT Company City, State & Zip)) RE: Records and Information for Account # ((Insert Account Number)) To Whom It May Concern: My name is ((INSERT Your Name Here)). I am the owner of the above referenced account. I would like to verify the contact information on my account is correct and up to date. Please respond via letter stating the information is accurate on your records. My current address is ((INSERT Your Current Address Here)). My current contact phone numbers are as follows: Home: ((INSERT HOME PHONE HERE)) Cell: ((INSERT CELL PHONE HERE)) Work: ((INSERT WORK PHONE HERE)) In case of my death I would like to ensure you have noted the money, interest and ownership of this account is transferred to ((INSERT Name of Heir)) my ((Insert Relationship to Heir, i.e. Wife or Next of Kin or Daughter, etc.)). The contact information for ((INSERT Name of Heir)) is as follows: Address: ((INSERT Heir's Address)) Phone: ((INSERT Heir's Phone Number)) Alternate Phone: ((INSERT Heir's Alternate Phone Number)) Please let me know if you require any additional information on this account. Sincerely, ((SIGN YOUR NAME HERE)) ((TYPE YOUR NAME HERE)) Make it a point to send this letter after you change your address, telephone number or when you change your heir. If you do not want your money to end up with the government as unclaimed money, never violate any of the four rules given above. If you want to check if you or your family members are owed unclaimed money, then simply conduct a free search in the unclaimed money database and allay your fears. The quick search will clearly state whether unclaimed money is owed to you, your family members or your friends or not. The website does not stop at merely informing you that you are owed unclaimed money. It provides information on how to go about claiming the same. After you have made the claim, wait for a maximum of 16 weeks. The check should be received by you within 2-16 weeks.

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