BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder shares tips on how to prevent your money from becoming unclaimed property.
Schroder says unclaimed property can be unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, uncashed payroll checks, stock dividends, and utility deposit refunds. The state treasury’s tips to prevent money from becoming unclaimed property:
- Keep your mailing address current for all accounts, services, and subscriptions. If you move, be sure to update everything, including online services and subscriptions.
- Don’t forget to update your email address if it changes. Think about all the accounts or subscriptions you have where email is their only means of contacting you.
- Open your mail, even if it appears to be junk. Companies are required to send a written notice before sending money to you.
- Don’t let your savings or investment accounts go dormant – if nothing else, make at least a small deposit or withdrawal every year.
- If you have a bank account with online access and a password, be sure to log on at least once a year.
- If you move and change utility services, be sure to provide your new address to the utility company.
- Did you know that a change of address/forwarding order at the Post Office does not apply to checks? If a company mails you a check to your old address after you have moved, it may be returned to the sender instead of being forwarded to your new address.
- Cash small dividend checks. If you have stock in a dividend-paying company, an uncashed check is an indication that you are lost. After three years, the underlying security is subject to being sent to us as Unclaimed Property.
- Is your family aware of your assets? Almost a third of what we pay goes to estates, and the money is usually in our custody because the family was unaware.
- Is there a record of your life insurance policies? Life insurance death benefits come to us if no claim is made at the time of death.
“Louisiana has one of the most successful unclaimed property programs in the nation thanks to hard-working staff, advances in technology, and an easy-to-navigate website for citizens to search and claim their funds,” says Schroder. “Right now, we have more than $900 million waiting to be claimed, and we are constantly getting new money. Our focus is to return funds to the rightful owners; however, it is equally important to understand what can be done to keep money from being turned over to our Unclaimed Property Program in the first place.”
To see if you have any unclaimed property in Louisiana, visit LaCashClaim.org or call 888-925-4127.