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The state possessed a woman's unclaimed funds. It turned out to be a godsend

This month, before dawn in Singapore, Ms. Cox and I discussed the issue by Zoom with the state comptroller's office while waiting for her young children to move and end the proceedings. At one point, Ms. Cox thought about asking about the missing $45,000 — that amount left over from the 2014 statement. How much of its money did the state have now?

“It’s $115,000,” came the response.

Turns out the state tracks investment performance and you get all that growth when you show up to claim your property. Those old Eaton Vance mutual funds had held up pretty well. Mrs. Cox smiled wryly.

Later that day, I asked him about his plans for the money, which arrived in his bank account via wire transfer this week. A new 529 college savings plan for these two kids, perhaps? With the help of a Morgan Stanley broker?

“I don’t think so,” she said. “No. No, thank you.”

Not all unclaimed funds are bank or brokerage accounts that their owners forgot about. This could include stock dividends, insurance policies, uncashed checks and much more. If you want to find something in your name – or, say, that of your elderly loved ones – here's how to do it.

Search for your state (or every state)

Every state has some sort of unclaimed property unit. If you search online, it's easy to find: just make sure the site is legitimate. Florida, as wacky as ever, runs its operations from a web address. FLTreasurehunt.gov.

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators has a map on its home page with links to each state's website. You can search all states at once disappearedmoney.com

Prepare your credentials

To make a claim on your property, you will need to prove who you are, often with personal information or perhaps identification. You may also need records from the company you were dealing with before they turned everything over to the state.

Appeal in case of blockage

If a state turns you away for any reason, carefully note what, if anything, might change their mind. If you don't like the answer and you live in the state where the unclaimed property is located, contact your state officials and ask them to help you. constituent service.

And if it's the company you patronized that signed your property over to the state and is now putting up obstacles, call any customer service department. If that doesn't work, try the one that should be patented executive email carpet bomb method of selectively sending pointed letters to a company's management team.

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