State Treasuries - Forgotten

safe-deposit-box2Often overlook are a variety of items (jewelry, stocks, documents, cash, etc) that once belonged to a relative and for any number of reasons has been forgotten about. If those items were in a bank safe deposit box and the rent unpaid, the contains are then turned over to the state treasury where that bank is located.

However, not just items in a bank box but also unclaimed pensions, tax refunds, money in a savings or checking account, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, customer refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, and mineral royalty payments.

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) helps see that people or heirs of such unclaimed items get the money or items returned. Actually each state treasury maintains what has not been claimed and keeps it in vaults then keeps listings of individuals who have this property. You can then search on a certain state records to see if your name or that of a relative has unclaimed property with that state.

safe-deposit-box3 You might think you left anything behind, but then maybe you didn’t even know you were entitled to a certain refund. It is worthy checking into any state records, even if you lived in that location only a short time.

Even more fascinating is to locate such unclaimed ‘treasures’ of a deceased ancestor. Here you really have to check any and all states they may lived in or had a business or property. Check neighboring states also. Look at different spellings for the surname and given names for that relative.

On the Unclaimed Site, select a state. Each state treasury is different, so follow they own directions. Each state will return free of any fee any and all monies and items they are holding. If you are a heir, you have to prove the person’s death and your relationship.

Even if you have checked all possible family members, go back every couple of years because new items are being located, turned over to the state (which business and companies are required by law to do).

In 1991, I found that the contains of my grandfather’s safe deposit box was being held by the state of Maryland since 1944, since his death. What a surprise! The state did send the full contents to me, after I submitted his death obituary and my lineage, all free of charge.

So see what might be listed with your name or a relative.

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