As I’ve been telling you, at least 1 out of every 10 Americans has unclaimed money waiting. It may be hard for you to believe that you could ever misplace your own money. But what about your relatives? Your ancestors? You may be entitled to unclaimed money that they left behind. That’s exactly what happened to Carol Fox.
How did you first get the idea to search the unclaimed money database?
My daughter’s husband, my son in law, told me to look. He does it all the time because he thinks it’s fascinating. So I looked and there was all sorts of money for my mother.
What was the money from and how did it get lost?
Dividends from stock my mother had received as a gift from an aunt and uncle. She got lots of little checks for $5. And she never bothered cashing them, so they became unclaimed property! There were lots of little amounts that added up. She didn’t drive, so depositing it was a hassle for her. Your mother didn’t want to be bothered going to the bank, but she was a retired bank teller, right? I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe that my mother, who had actually worked as bank teller, had let this stuff go. A bank teller who didn’t want to go back to the bank!!!!
You also found a small unclaimed money account for yourself, and your mother was a part of that story, too, right?
Yes, I found a small amount in my own name. From when I lived in California. It was from a life insurance policy. My mother had insisted that I get a policy so that if something happened to me, there would be money to bury me. When I moved to California, my mother never forwarded the dividend checks to me! I found that one under my maiden name. It was from the early 1960s.
Which state was holding the 2 unclaimed money accounts for you and what did it take to claim it?
It was relatively easy but it took a long time. I just had to provide an original death certificate for my mom. I sent the claim in at the end of summer 2016.
Then I started calling in 2016. They were lovely. I got the checks early this year. January and March.
OK, Carol, tell me: how much unclaimed money did you receive back from the state?
$29.58 from my tiny old life insurance policy. And $5940 that belonged to my mother! My sister and I are the survivors. We split the money from mom between us.
I hope that unlike your mom, you cashed those checks when you got them.
What did you do with the money? I spent the $29 on a pedicure!!!!
Perfect, what about the larger amount? What did you and your sister spend it on?
My sister got her house painted. l have been saving mine, but I’m thinking of having my floors refinished.
If you were inspired by Carol’s story and you’d like to search for unclaimed money in the names of relatives who have passed, there are two free websites that I recommend. Start with MissingMoney.com and then check unclaimed.org (note, that’s .org) for the 10 states that don’t participate with MissingMoney.