Discovering Unclaimed Property in New Hampshire: How to Reclaim What’s Yours

Did you know that there could be money or valuables out there with your name on them, just waiting for you to claim? Across the United States, unclaimed property has accumulated to astonishing amounts, and New Hampshire is no exception.

This guide will walk you through what unclaimed property is, how it ends up in state coffers, and the simple steps you can take to check if some of it belongs to you.

What Exactly Is Unclaimed Property?

Unclaimed property refers to financial assets or valuable items that have been left dormant or forgotten by their owners for a certain period. This could include anything from bank accounts and stocks to uncashed checks and insurance payouts.

When businesses or financial institutions can’t locate the owners, they hand these assets over to the state to safeguard them until claimed.

The Scope of Unclaimed Property in New Hampshire

You might be surprised to learn that as of 2023, New Hampshire was holding onto over $60 million in unclaimed property. This treasure trove includes a diverse range of assets such as dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, forgotten stocks, life insurance benefits, and even utility deposits. All these are waiting for their rightful owners to step forward and claim them.

How Does Property Go Unclaimed?

Unclaimed property can result from a variety of everyday occurrences. People move and forget to update their address with financial institutions, or they misplace account information. Sometimes, the heirs to a deceased person’s estate are unaware of certain assets. In other cases, businesses lose contact with customers or shareholders, leading to unclaimed funds.

Types of Unclaimed Property

The types of unclaimed property can be quite varied. Some common examples include:

  • Bank Accounts: Dormant savings and checking accounts that haven’t seen activity for years.
  • Uncashed Checks: Payroll checks, refund checks, and dividend checks that were never cashed.
  • Insurance Benefits: Life insurance policies and annuities that remain unclaimed.
  • Utility Deposits: Security deposits for utilities that were never collected.
  • Stocks and Bonds: Shares of stock or bond dividends that went unclaimed.
  • Safe Deposit Boxes: Contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes, including jewelry, coins, and important documents.

Finding Unclaimed Property in New Hampshire

The process of finding unclaimed property in New Hampshire is simpler than you might think, thanks to the New Hampshire State Treasury, which maintains an easy-to-use online database. Here’s how you can start your search:

  1. Visit the Official Website: Head over to the New Hampshire State Treasury’s unclaimed property website.
  2. Enter Your Information: Input your name and any other required information into the search fields.
  3. Review the Results: The search will generate a list of potential matches. Review these carefully to see if any belong to you.
  4. File a Claim: If you find property that belongs to you, follow the instructions to file a claim. This typically involves providing proof of identity and any relevant documentation to prove ownership.

Claiming Your Unclaimed Property

Once you have identified unclaimed property that belongs to you, the next step is to file a claim. The process usually involves:

  1. Proof of Identity: Submit a copy of a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  2. Proof of Ownership: Provide documents that prove your right to the property. This could include old account statements, utility bills with your address, or any other relevant paperwork.
  3. Submit the Claim Form: Complete and submit the claim form available on the State Treasury’s website.
  4. Follow Up: After submitting your claim, follow up if necessary. The processing time can vary, and additional information may be required.

Tips for a Smooth Claim Process

While claiming unclaimed property is generally straightforward, there are some tips to ensure a smooth process:

  • Keep Records: Maintain good records of your financial transactions and personal documents.
  • Update Information: Always update your address and contact information with banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions.
  • Check Regularly: Make it a habit to check for unclaimed property periodically. Assets can go unclaimed for various reasons, and checking regularly increases your chances of finding something.

Unclaimed Property Nationwide

While New Hampshire has its share of unclaimed property, it’s worth noting that other states also hold significant amounts of unclaimed assets. For instance, in 2023, New York State held an astonishing $17 billion in unclaimed property.

This highlights the widespread nature of unclaimed assets across the country and underscores the importance of regularly checking for unclaimed property, regardless of where you live.

The Importance of Reclaiming Unclaimed Property

Reclaiming unclaimed property is not just about recovering forgotten funds; it can also significantly impact your financial well-being. Extra funds can be used to pay off debts, invest in opportunities, or simply enhance your financial security.

Additionally, reclaiming these assets ensures they are returned to the rightful owners, reducing the amount of unclaimed money held by the state.

How to Prevent Your Money from Becoming Unclaimed

Preventing your money from becoming unclaimed involves a few proactive steps:

  • Keep Financial Records Up to Date: Regularly update your contact information with all financial institutions and organizations you do business with.
  • Communicate with Beneficiaries: Ensure that your heirs and beneficiaries are aware of any life insurance policies, retirement accounts, or other assets they may inherit.
  • Monitor Your Accounts: Regularly check your financial accounts, including bank accounts, investment accounts, and insurance policies.
  • Respond to Notifications: Pay attention to mail and email notifications from financial institutions. These communications often include important information about your accounts.
  • Consolidate Accounts: If you have multiple accounts, consider consolidating them to make management easier and reduce the risk of forgetting about them.

Success Stories

Many people have successfully reclaimed significant amounts of money through unclaimed property programs. For example, a New Hampshire resident discovered and claimed over $50,000 from an old insurance policy they had forgotten about. Such success stories highlight the importance of checking for unclaimed property and the potential benefits of reclaiming forgotten assets.

Conclusion

Unclaimed property in New Hampshire represents a substantial pool of financial assets waiting to be claimed by their rightful owners. With over $60 million in unclaimed property, there is significant potential for individuals to recover forgotten or unknown assets.

By understanding the process and regularly checking for unclaimed property, you can ensure that any owed money finds its way back to you. Take the time to search and claim what’s yours—your financial future could benefit greatly.

For more detailed information and to start your search, visit the New Hampshire State Treasury’s unclaimed property website.

P.S. Want access to your state’s unclaimed property database and 49 other states? We’ve written a free report titled “Forgotten Loot” that shows you how fast. Visit this page and get it today. It’s totally free and you can start your search for yourself and a family member or friend.