Unclaimed Property — May 2012, reviewed January 2013

Sometimes we forget ‘stuff’ or we may not know what is ours.  At any given time the State of Minnesota holds millions of dollars in ‘unclaimed property’ that has been abandoned or not claimed by citizens.  This can include bank accounts, utility security deposits, or unclaimed insurance benefits.  Most unclaimed property results from a change in address, a death, or just plain forgetfulness.

There is no charge or cost to find out if a state is holding property that belongs to you.  This is something you can do by yourself for free just by contacting the appropriate government agencies.  There are private companies, known as ‘skip tracers’, that charge from 20-30% of the value of the property, but you don’t need them.

You can find out if you are the owner or the heir to unclaimed property held by the state by contacting the MN Department of Commerce Unclaimed Property Division.  They maintain an unclaimed property database.  You can just check the records for your name online.  You can check for your name on other state databases at the same time.  This is important if you’ve lived in other states.

There are federal government unclaimed property information sites, too.  For more information contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce at http://mn.gov/commerce/topics/Unclaimed-Property/ and also the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General http://www.ag.state.mn.us/Brochures/pubUnclaimedProperty.pdf  for more detailed information on where to do searching.

Who knows what may be out there waiting for you to claim it.  It could be a nice surprise!