In this article, Unclaimed money is any financial asset that has been abandoned or forgotten by its rightful owner for a certain period of time. Examples of unclaimed money include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, dividends, uncashed checks, insurance policies, utility deposits, and inheritances. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), there are billions of dollars in unclaimed money waiting to be claimed by their owners or heirs in the United States.
Louisiana is one of the states that has a program to help reunite people with their unclaimed money. The Louisiana Department of the Treasury is responsible for collecting, safeguarding, and returning unclaimed money to its rightful owners or heirs.
The department maintains a website where you can search for your unclaimed money online and file a claim electronically or by mail. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of claiming your unclaimed money in Louisiana.
Step 1: Search for Your Unclaimed Money Online
The first step to claiming your unclaimed money in Louisiana is to search for it online. You can use the official website of the Louisiana Department of the Treasury or a third-party website like Unclaimed.org to conduct your search. You will need to provide some basic information, such as your name, address, social security number, and email address, to perform the search. You can also search for unclaimed money under the name of a deceased relative, a business, or a trust.
The search results will show you the amount of unclaimed money, the name and address of the holder (such as a bank or a company), and the type of property (such as a bank account or a dividend). If you find any unclaimed money that belongs to you or a relative, you can proceed to the next step.
Step 2: File a Claim for Your Unclaimed Money
The second step to claiming your unclaimed money in Louisiana is to file a claim for it. You can file a claim online or by mail, depending on your preference and eligibility. To file a claim online, you will need to create an account on the Louisiana Department of the Treasury website and follow the instructions. You will need to provide some personal information and upload some documents to verify your identity and ownership of the unclaimed money. Some of the documents that you may need include:
- A copy of your driver’s license or state ID card
- A copy of your social security card or tax ID number
- A copy of your birth certificate or passport
- A copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree (if applicable)
- A copy of your proof of address (such as a utility bill or a bank statement)
- A copy of your proof of relationship (such as a death certificate or a will) (if applicable)
To file a claim by mail, you will need to download and print a claim form from the Louisiana Department of the Treasury website and fill it out. You will need to provide the same information and documents as mentioned above and mail them to:
- Louisiana Department of the Treasury
- Unclaimed Property Division
- P.O. Box 91010
- Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9010
Step 3: Wait for your claim to be processed and receive your unclaimed money
The third and final step to claiming your unclaimed money in Louisiana is to wait for your claim to be processed and receive your unclaimed money. The processing time may vary depending on the complexity and volume of claims, but it usually takes between 90 and 120 days. You can check the status of your claim online by logging into your account on the Louisiana Department of the Treasury website or by calling 1-888-925-4127.
Once your claim is approved, you will receive your unclaimed money by check or direct deposit, depending on your preference. You will not be charged any fees or commissions by the state for claiming your unclaimed money. However, you may be liable for taxes on your unclaimed money, depending on its source and amount. You should consult with a tax professional if you have any questions about your tax obligations.
FAQ: The Ultimate Guide to Your Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about claiming unclaimed money in Louisiana:
Q: How much unclaimed money is there in Louisiana?
A: According to the Louisiana Department of the Treasury, there is over $900 million in unclaimed money in Louisiana as of September 2021. The department returns about $40 million every year to its rightful owners or heirs.
Q: How long does unclaimed money stay in Louisiana?
A: Unclaimed money stays in Louisiana indefinitely until it is claimed by its rightful owner or heir. The state does not take ownership of the unclaimed money and does not use it for any purpose. The state acts as a custodian of the unclaimed money and tries to locate and notify the owners or heirs through various means, such as publishing names in newspapers, attending public events, and partnering with other agencies.
Q: What happens if I don’t claim my unclaimed money in Louisiana?
A: If you don’t claim your unclaimed money in Louisiana, it will remain in the state’s custody until you or your heirs claim it. You will not lose your right to claim your unclaimed money even if you move to another state or country. However, you may miss out on the opportunity to use your unclaimed money for your personal or financial needs. You may also risk losing your unclaimed money to fraudsters or scammers who may try to impersonate you or your heir and claim your unclaimed money illegally.
Q: How can I avoid having unclaimed money in Louisiana?
A: You can avoid having unclaimed money in Louisiana by keeping track of your financial assets and updating your contact information with the holders of your assets. You should also inform your family members and beneficiaries of your assets and their locations. You should also review your will and estate plan regularly tomake sure they reflect your current wishes and circumstances. You should also check for unclaimed money periodically using the official or third-party websites mentioned above.