Sometimes we get so busy in our lives looking for that 'something' that will make it all worthwhile. We get so engrossed in our day-to-day tasks that most of us do not notice that what we're looking for is right there under our noses. No, I'm not trying to be the Dalai Lama or Dr. Phil talking about divine peace or everlasting love. What I'm talking about, though less spiritual, is suddenless significant in our life and will most likely catch your attention as much as anything a religious leader or a cultural icon will say.
I'm talking about money. $ 8 billion in New York unclaimed money and property, to be precise, just waiting to be reunited with thousands of their owners who are most likely busy trying to make money, ironically. According to State Comptroller for New York, Thomas P. DiNapoli, "We want to return unclaimed funds to their rightful owners. The money belongs to New Yorkers. We want to give it back."
There are statutes across the country called Unclaimed Property Laws or escheat laws that require businesses and financial entities to hand-over lost and abandoned financial assets like uncashed checks, forgotten bank accounts, unused gift certificates or cards, uncollected salies, unredeemed insurance policies, stock dividends, safe-deposit bank contents and other funds to each individual State Treasury Departments after a specific 'idle' time called the 'dormancy period'. This period varies depending on the state. In New York though, it's either 2 or 5 years depending on the type of asset. The size of the New York unclaimed money pile is one of the largest in the country- even larger than California's $ 5 billion. The money goes into the state's Unclaimed Property Fund where it stays until the rightful owner comes to claim it.
When people change their address, get new jobs, or marry and change their last names, they sometimes forget to leave a notice for the financial institutions like the IRS or their banks. Undelivered mail results and the tax refund checks or finance notices then do not reach their intended recipient and are sent back to sender. The more hectic a person's career is therefore, the more likely it is that he'll lose track of his financial assets. With the notorious hustle and bustle of New York, it's not surprising it is home to so much unclaimed money and property.
"More people have unclaimed funds than they think," says the senior manager for financial consulting juggernaut KPMG's Allison Iavarone in a recent report on missing money by New York's The Daily News. Surprisingly, Madonna, the Yankees, the Mets, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Michael Bloomberg, Billy Joel, and Bob Dylan have all turned-up on a list of New York State unclaimed property owners.
Everyone should search for lost assets especially if they have a lot of relatives or if they've had a busy professional life. Valerie Jundt, a senior manager at tax consulting firm Deloitte & Touche advised, "You should check the state where you've lived and last stayed."