Learn How to Avoid Having “Unclaimed Property”
Unclaimed Property is very real. According to KTVB, Idaho has about $30 Million in unclaimed property. (Check out the article here). I (David Taylor) have even been a victim of lost/forgotten property. When I was in college, I set up a checking and savings account at a bank in Boise. I didn’t like the bank so I went in to close down my accounts. Turns out I set up some kind of a long-term savings account and I had to wait a year to close it. Sure enough, I completely forgot about the account (there was only $50 in it). A few years later on a whim I checked the archives of Idaho’s Unclaimed Property. Now, I have a very common name, so I didn’t think there would be any chance I would find unclaimed property. But, sure enough there was that $50 (now $52.14 with ten years’ interest) sitting there held by the State of Idaho.
Now, I recognize this wasn’t a lot of money, but if I had the choice of giving my money to the government or to my family, obviously I’d choose my family. You can make that choice now too.
At Twin Falls Estate Planning, we believe that creating an inventory of your assets is crucial to that no property gets lost. One of the first steps of our Family Asset Protection Meeting is to get a list of all of your assets in one place. That way, when the time comes your family won’t be lost trying to find your assets.
Too many times I’ve seen family members scrambling trying to find assets. “I think Mom banked . . .” or “Dad worked for the State, so he has a retirement account somewhere . . .” Right now, I’m involved in a case where we are trying to get access to a deceased person’s email account. We’re certain he had money at a bank, but so far all of the banks we’ve called haven’t found an account. So now we’re dealing with Google to get access to his emails hoping that there’s a clue somewhere. We’ve been dealing with Google for two months now with nothing to show for it. (Note: I don’t blame Google . . . they are don’t their best to protect this person’s privacy)
If you don’t have an itemized list of your assets, chances are when something happens to you that your loved ones will be scrambling trying to find your assets. There’s an even greater chance that your hard-earned assets might be given to the government as unclaimed property.
If you have an itemized list of your assets in one place, you are well prepared! If you need help getting your assets in one place, we can help with that as part of our standard practice. Please give us a call at 208-733-7200 or email us at [email protected] to take action to ensure the best plan is in place to provide for your care and for your family.