Learning to wisely manage your financial resources is a valuable life skill. But being given some extra cash doesn’t hurt either. In fact, you might even be entitled to money that for years hasn’t been accounted for.

The Australian government is currently sitting on some $20 billion in unclaimed cash.

Where has it all come from?

Lost or forgotten:

– Bank accounts

– Shares

– Bonds

– Dividends

– Superannuation

– Life insurance policies

– Deposits

– Deceased estates

Just to name a few.

How do you know if any of this is yours?

Luckily, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has a useful tool in place. An ‘Unclaimed Money Search’ on their website could help you locate what’s rightfully yours.

To search for your potential missing funds in bank accounts, shares or life insurance policies, check out this money locator.

Let’s now take a look at a few common areas in which people lose track of their money.

Bank Accounts Lost In Translation

An account left undisturbed for three years is subject to closure by the Australian Government.

This doesn’t happen arbitrarily, however. Banks are obligated to notify the account holder that their account will be closed unless certain steps are taken.

The trouble comes in when people move and forget to update their contact details. How will the bank ever notify them that their account has been neglected?

Unclaimed Super

The vast majority of unclaimed monies can be found in lost super accounts. $17 million in unclaimed super means that almost 1 in 4 Australians have retirement funds that they don’t know about.

Are you missing a chunk of your retirement living? Check out the ATO’s SuperSeeker website to find out.

Who Inherits Deceased Estates?

What happens to a person’s assets when they pass away without leaving a will behind?

The decision about property, money and other assets goes before the Court, and often passed on to closest family members. If these cannot be identified, however, then the money goes unclaimed.

Track Down Your Missing Money

Searching for your lost funds in that sea of unclaimed monies can be rewarding, just be wary of the entities you conduct your search through. Lots of websites will help you locate your money . . . in exchange for a hefty share.

Save yourself a penny by using a free tool to locate unclaimed funds.

Check out these free unclaimed money-locating websites:

Money Catch

Australian Tax Office (ATO)

It’s free to investigate and only takes a few minutes of your time. What do you have to lose by trying to locate the money and property you’re owed?

For more help in tracking down your missing assets or other accounting and tax advice, contact our expert team. Call our office on (08) 8379 9950 or send me an email.

– Kym Nitschke

 

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