Throughout our lives, our finances continue to become more complex as time goes by. Early in our careers, we might start off with one bank account and one retirement account. By the time we reach retirement age, we have probably been associated with many bank accounts, a number of different retirement accounts, have owned more than one home, had several past employers, and have been beneficiaries to numerous insurance policies. Even with good record keeping, most people will lose track of some sort of financial account they had during their lifetime.

The good news is that in the United States, lost financial accounts don’t just disappear. States have rules that govern how companies are to dispose of accounts for which they have lost contact with the owners of the accounts. The rules typically require businesses to turn those accounts over to the States’ Unclaimed Property Departments.

If you would like to know if you have any unclaimed money or property that is being held by a state, try searching for the name of the state, followed by the words “unclaimed property”. Once you are on the department’s website, you should be able to perform a search of the state’s database of unclaimed property. And if you find any accounts (hopefully you do), instructions should be provided on the site to tell you what you need to do to claim the account.

Sometimes, locating and filing claims for unclaimed funds isn’t straightforward. This can be because the state has errors in the property account information that was provided to them. There also can be issues when it comes to filing claims for property that belonged to deceased family member. If you are an heir that is entitled to the decedent’s property, you can file a claim but you can expect it to be more challenging to recover the property than if the account belonged to yourself. For these types of situations, we suggest that you hire a company that specialises in locating and claimed unclaimed property.

An example of a company that specialises in unclaimed property recovery is Finder Investigative Services, based in Orlando, Florida. On their website, you can submit a request to get a free unclaimed money search performed by a private investigator. If they find any money or other property for you, they can also file your claim as well.

The normal agreement for these types of companies is a contingency fee contract, so they will only be compensated if they successfully recover your money. If they don’t get your claim approved, then you won’t owe anything. Average fees are about 20-30% of the total account value. The fees are worth it though because using a professional service for your claim filing greatly increases your odds of recovering your money and property. Also, if there are any legal documents or certified records that need to be purchased, these companies usually will cover the cost for you.

If you want to learn more about Finder Investigative Services and their unclaimed property services, you can find them at