How do assets go unclaimed?
Assets can go unclaimed for a variety of reasons including moving, marriage, divorce and death. All of these life events can cause your name or contact information to change making it harder for companies that owe you money to contact you. In 2019, The New York Times reported that unclaimed assets in the US were up to $80 billion and growing.
If you are a long term investor and don't log into your account regularly, the company is required by law to transfer your shares to the state after three years of inactivity. The state holding your stock can then liquidate the stock and hold the cash value for you to claim. In this case, you do not get to benefit from any stock gains. Click here to listen to the story about Walter's Amazon shares he bought with E-Trade that should have been worth $100,000 after 20 years but instead were liquidated by the state of Deleware in 2008 and only worth $8,000.
Unclaimed Life Insurance Policies
What happens if you have a life insurance policy but haven’t named beneficiaries or told your family where to find your policy and who to contact for a claim? Some families find out their loved one had a policy only when they get a statement in the mail. With paper mail becoming obsolete and some insurance companies no longer sending paper statements, it is increasingly difficult to discover and claim life insurance policies of which premiums may have been paid for many years. Click here to read more about the billions in life insurance benefits that have gone unclaimed.
Unclaimed Retirement Accounts
Many employers sponsor defined-contribution pension accounts including 401(k) plans and Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) accounts. Unfortunately, when some people change jobs or retire, they do not move their investments with them or inform their family of those investments. The average balance in a 401(k) account is $55,400 and 24 million participants have “forgotten” about their 401(k) plans resulting in $1.35 trillion in old, forgotten accounts. Click here to read more about retirement accounts that have gone unclaimed.
Thank you very much ... thank you for caring about this to take the time to give me information. Very kind of you.
Thank you for helping me to discover that my late grandmother had a life insurance policy that I could claim.
My husband served in the US military and passed away in October. My mother passed away last week from COVID-19. Thank you for helping me in my time of need.