Did you know that the state of Washington is searching for the rightful owners of approximately $300 million in unclaimed property? Your chances are one in seven that you have unclaimed property with a cash value being held by the state. These assets are turned over to the state for safe keeping by businesses and organizations throughout the United States when they are unable to locate the owner of the property. There is no charge to file a claim.
The Unclaimed Property Database is a consumer protection program provided by the Washington State Department of Revenue. This free public service is for use by citizens and members of the general public. Law restricts commercial use of this information.
In addition to money and securities, the Washington holdings include tangible property such as watches, jewelry, coins, currency, stamps, historical items and other miscellaneous articles.
Do not assume that the business has your last known address, in which case the property is supposed to be sent to the state of incorporation of the business. Many times the state of incorporation is Delaware, New Jersey, New York or California.
Another tip that may be helpful is to try various combinations of your name, try putting you first name last and your last name first. Don't forget that you may have assets in your maiden name.
Keep in mind that if someone calls or writes to you and asks that you pay them money for the successful return of your unclaimed property, you probably have some out there somewhere. The folks who are contacting you are called "heir finders." They are not likely to contact you unless they believe that they have found property belonging to you. Heir finders generally charge a fee to locate and help return unclaimed property to you.
In addition to money and securities, the state's holdings include tangible property such as watches, jewelry, coins, currency, stamps, historical items and other miscellaneous articles. Unclaimed money is deposited into a state school fund, and is used exclusively for public education. There are, however, no statute of limitations. Anyone has the right to claim property, at no cost to them, at any time, regardless of the amount or the length of time lapsed.