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Unclaimed Property: Don't Let Your Lost Assets Languish

Friday, November 15, 2019

Stake your claim to what's yours

Finding something you lost long ago is one of life’s little pleasures. There’s a certain satisfaction in coming across a wayward sock that’s been hibernating under your clothes dryer or discovering a few dollars in the pocket of a jacket that’s been in the closet for months. You might have figured your lost items were gone forever, or maybe you even forgot they were lost in the first place – even though they were, and are, rightfully yours.

Learn more about how EQ Unify Asset Reunification Services put shareholders back in contact with their rightful assets.

Many people don’t realize that this can happen with assets more substantial than wayward laundry or spare change hiding between couch cushions. In the financial world, unclaimed property such as uncashed checks, unexchanged shares, or outstanding refunds and other items can be stuck in limbo for long periods of time, seemingly out of reach of their rightful owners. This situation, which leads to escheatment, happens when an account is dormant or assets appear to be unclaimed or abandoned. Fortunately, there are ways to reunite people with their unclaimed property.

Getting separated from your assets is not as unusual as you might think. In fact, it happens to the tune of millions and millions of dollars every year. Because every state sets its own rules defining when an account is considered to be dormant, abandoned or when an owner cannot be contacted, escheated property can languish out of sight, and out of mind, for years.

Reasons why your assets might enter the escheatment process

Some of the more frequent causes include:

  • Not being an active shareholder. Failing to vote your proxy at annual meetings or leaving your dividend checks uncashed may lead to your account to be considered abandoned or dormant.
  • Not keeping your information current. If you move, make sure to notify companies you have an interest in. The post office will only forward first-class mail to your new address for one year; other mail pieces – sometimes important shareholder information – could be returned as undeliverable after just a couple of months.
  • Not informing companies of your new name. If you change your name due to marriage, divorce or any other reason, be sure that the companies holding your investments are aware. If you don’t, that can make it more difficult to easily verify your ownership.
  • Failing to tell your heirs about your investments. If you expect that your beneficiaries will be able track down all your holdings after your death without knowing where to look, they might overlook some assets. Likewise, ensure that beneficiary information is on file with the companies holding your funds. If the IRS reports that your Social Security number is assigned to a person who is now deceased, your investment company might classify your account as dormant or abandoned if there are no beneficiaries designated.

Discover how you can benefit from EQ Unify today

EQ Unify Asset Reunification Services are designed to help put people back in touch with dividends, stocks and shares considered lost or unclaimed.

 

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