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Unclaimed Balances

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Financial Planning -> Save Money -> Unclaimed balances

It's hard to believe, but people forget about funds that they have on deposit in banks, trust companies and loan companies.    They also forget to notify banks, brokers, and others when they have a change of address, or a change of name due to marriage, divorce, etc.

In order to avoid any of your assets becoming part of the massive unclaimed property amounts, it is important to:

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keep good records of
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bank and savings accounts

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investment/brokerage accounts

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stock certificates, if held personally

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any deposits paid, such as utility or telephone deposits

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insurance contracts

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deposit or cash all checks as soon as possible after receipt

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keep a list of accounts that would have to be notified of a change of address.  This list is also invaluable to the executor of your estate, so make sure they have access to it.

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notify everyone on the list promptly if you change your address, or if for some reason your name changes.

If you believe you have unclaimed property somewhere, here are some resources for trying to find it:

Canadian Financial Institutions

Bank of Canada searchable database of unclaimed amounts.  When funds held by financial institution have seen no activity for over 10 years, and the rightful owners cannot be found, the funds are transferred to the Bank of Canada.

Alberta

Central registry of Unclaimed Property - administered by Alberta Finance and Enterprise, Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA), will provide a searchable directory for unclaimed property.

British Columbia

BC Unclaimed Property Society (BCUPS) provides a searchable database of unclaimed property.

Québec

Revenu Québec has a searchable register of unclaimed property.

United States

For those of you who may have unclaimed property in the US, a free searchable database is available at MissingMoney.org.  The database provides access to unclaimed property in most states.  Another resource is the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) which provides links to databases for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, a few Canadian provinces, and Guam and Puerto Rico.

The US government also has a web page Unclaimed Money from the Government.

 

Tip:  Keep good records, so if something happens to you, your heirs will find all your assets!

 

Revised: October 25, 2012

 

 

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