Don’t Let Forgotten Bank Accounts Catch You Off Guard — Here’s How To Find Them
(UnitedHeadlines.com) – Life is hectic, especially in this day and age. That’s why it can be easy to forget about a bank account, particularly when one has multiple accounts. Perhaps it’s one that you meant to close, or maybe a family member opened one for you when you were young, and it’s since been forgotten. Whatever the case for your forgotten account, there are ways to see if it’s still active.
Your First Step
Before you go blindly looking for possible forgotten accounts, know that it’s better to gather information about them first. For example, bank statements or checks and deposit slips from the bank. You can also check your credit report, which will show any active accounts. You can use receipts from banks or ATMs as well as direct deposit information from clients or employers. Emails or text messages from the bank account in question could also help track down old and possibly active accounts.
What to Do Next
Once you have any information that could help find an old account, be sure to have identification ready. In most cases you just need a government-issued ID, usually, a driver’s license or passport will work. There are times when an institution may ask for multiple forms of photo identification; can use both your passport and driver’s license or a state ID.
If you’re looking for someone else’s account, such as if you’re an executor of an estate or have power of attorney, be sure you have the proper documentation showing you have the right to seek information about their account. You’ll also need to prove you’re legally allowed to act on behalf of the incapacitated person or estate.
Communicate With the Banks
Once you’ve tracked down an account, you’ll need to speak with the bank directly. Don’t expect to get answers over the phone as many banks won’t give information over a call due to security purposes. Instead, you’ll likely have to schedule an appointment with the institution’s manager, who will need to verify your identity and review the documents you have available before releasing any information to you.
As the executor of an estate or possessing the power of attorney, the bank will have its own verification process before it’ll even begin working with you. If you need help getting the process started, you can hire an attorney.
Don’t Forget to Check Escheatment Databases
Even if the bank your old account belonged to closes, the money you had in it doesn’t just vanish. Instead, the bank turns it over to an unclaimed property administrator. In some cases, the money gets turned over to the state the bank was operating in.
You can search state databases for unclaimed money or property to see if you have lost or forgotten money there. In addition, you can also search for unclaimed money and property on Unclaimed.org and MissingMoney.com, which the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators runs.
Finding money you forgot about can change your day, possibly even your life depending on the amount. If you forgot about some money in an account somewhere for whatever reason, don’t worry; just follow the necessary steps to recover it, and it’ll be yours again in no time.
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