You may have the right to unclaimed property in Michigan and not even realize it. According to the State of Michigan Department of Treasury, unclaimed property in the state includes inactive stocks, unpaid wages, savings accounts, checking accounts, dividends and more. Michigan created the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act to get the property back to their owners or beneficiaries. The assets are held in the custody of the State Treasurer until they are claimed. The state also provides an easy-to-use search method at the Unclaimed Property Division of the Michigan Department of Treasury.
Visit the Michigan’s Money Quest webpage to search for unclaimed money. You will enter the individual’s name or business into the space provided. Try to match the name that would have been reported to the bank or other holder of the asset. You cannot enter partial names, only full ones, but the order is unimportant. The more general your search, the more hits you will get, thus you may want to start with just the last name first and then narrow it down if you get too many hits. The state makes monthly updates, thus you can try again the following month to see if new property has been reported.
After you place a name in the field, you will receive a list of potential matches. It will include the name on the account, the city in Michigan, the company that reported it such as the bank or insurance company and a property number.
If you find a match, then you can fill out the Michigan Department of Treasury Unclaimed Property Inquiry Form. It will ask for information such as your name, Social Security Number and current and former addresses. You will need to provide various forms that prove ownership, which may include a picture ID, Social Security card, death certificate if you are a beneficiary and business information if you are claiming on behalf of a company. It may take up to 120 days for your claim to be processed.
Because Michigan has set up a centralized and easy-to-use search method for unclaimed property, a professional asset locator is generally not necessary. If you have exhausted all of your other options, then you could look for such a professional. You may choose a lawyer or private investigator. Remember that the charges for such services can be steep, often comprising a percentage of the assets. Still it is an option for those who have difficulty locating the unclaimed property on their own.
The State of Michigan holds millions of dollars in lost or forgotten assets, some of which may belong to you. Conduct a thorough search if you have any reason to believe that you may be entitled to such property in the state.