Wednesday, September 20, 2006

California's Valuable Properties

If you live in the Golden State of California you may be wealthier than you first anticipated. In truth, the same could be said no matter where you live. Unclaimed property is a resource that many people don’t even realize exists and that lack of knowledge could be costing them a tidy little fortune.

Each and every year there is cash and property that go unclaimed. Many people may have no idea that they are missing money. There are millions of dollars in unclaimed property in California alone. Everything from tax refunds that can’t be delivered to insurance proceeds are sitting and waiting for their rightful owners to come get them.

One of the more common types of unclaimed money is dormant bank accounts. People simply forgot that those accounts existed and in many cases passed away without assigning and heir. The office of unclaimed property in California has an extensive list of names of the individuals in the amounts that they are owed. These are accounts that have gone untouched for an extended period of greater than ten years. If no one steps forward to claim the money it is declared unclaimed property in California by the state.

This raises the obvious question that if you don’t know that it exists how can you possibly claim it? The first thing to do is is to do a search for your name to see if there is actually any unclaimed property in California in your name. There are several ways to do this. The least expensive and most efficient is to visit the Office of the Comptroller. There is a website set-up that has a search feature for individuals who believe they may have unclaimed property in California. It is a secure web site to protect your privacy and to ensure that no one can come forward and make a claim on your property.

If you find your name on the list the next thing to do is to get your property that. OK, I know, that's incredibly obvious. Depending on what unclaimed property is lawfully yours, you may have to offer proof by providing specific details of your identity. Picture IDs are always good, as are copies of your utility bills that helped prove a residence claim.

You may not find your name on this list but you may stumble upon the name of a friend or relative. All you would need to do in this situation is to inform them of what he saw a hand to encourage them to get in touch in the same fashion that you did. If they don’t have Internet access, invite them over and give them a hand. Who knows, they may even generously give you a reward as a finder fee.

Deceased family member’s names often appear on the list of unclaimed property in California, as it does in every other state. If the individual was someone very close to you, you may be able to claim the money by presenting a death certificate along with any legal documentation proving that you are indeed their heir. If the amount is substantial it’s probably a smart idea to hire a lawyer to assist you with dealing with the unclaimed property in California office. You want to be absolutely sure that everything is handled properly so you won't have any problems picking up the unclaimed property that is rightfully yours.