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The Thrill of Digital Treasure Hunting


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May 19, 2024

Discovering forgotten cash is a thrilling experience, akin to finding hidden treasure. This delight is not limited to stumbling upon money in old coat pockets or car consoles; it extends to discovering unclaimed funds online. This educational guide aims to help you reconnect with forgotten riches through the process of claiming unclaimed property.

Understanding Unclaimed Property

Each state in the U.S. operates an unclaimed property division, usually part of their treasury or revenue department. Think of it as an expansive lost and found repository. When a business or municipality owes you money but cannot locate you—perhaps due to a change of address—they file a claim with the state associated with your last known address. This unclaimed property can include forgotten bank accounts, uncashed checks, security deposits, insurance payments, and more.

How to Search for Unclaimed Property

To begin your search for unclaimed property, you can follow these steps:

  1. Search Online: Use a search engine to locate your state's unclaimed property website by typing in phrases like "unclaimed property Georgia" or "unclaimed funds New York." For example, here is the Georgia Unclaimed Property site: https://dor.georgia.gov/unclaimed-property-program
  2. Enter Legal Name(s): On the unclaimed property site, enter your first and last legal names. It can also be beneficial to search using the names of close relatives, such as parents or grandparents, especially if you are a legal heir to a deceased relative's estate.
  3. Filter Results: Review the search results and filter them by name and previous addresses that match yours or those of your relatives.
  4. Add to Basket: Select the matching claims and add them to your basket.
  5. Claim Form: You will receive a PDF claim form that includes your personal information and details about the claims. Some states may require this form to be notarized, though others might allow online processing without physical forms.
  6. Submit Documentation: Upload the notarized claim form, along with proof of identification and your Social Security Number (SSN), to the link provided in your confirmation email.

Claim Processing and Approval

Once your documentation is submitted, the state will process your claim. Upon approval, they will send you a check for the value of your claims. The timeline for processing can vary depending on the state and the volume of claims they handle.

Special Considerations for Securities

If your unclaimed property includes securities, such as stock certificates or bonds, additional steps may be required. Proving ownership might necessitate documents from a brokerage account or other proof of purchase. Ensure you have all necessary paperwork to facilitate this process.

The Potential Value of Claims

The value of unclaimed property claims can range significantly. While some claims might be as small as a few dollars, others can amount to several thousand dollars. Regardless of the amount, it is worthwhile to explore this possibility. The excitement of reclaiming forgotten funds is a rewarding experience.


Embarking on the journey of digital treasure hunting is both simple and potentially lucrative. By following the outlined steps, you can uncover and reclaim funds that rightfully belong to you or your relatives. Take the time to search for unclaimed property in every state you or your relatives have resided. This effort can lead to unexpected financial rewards. Share your discoveries with others and encourage them to explore their own potential hidden treasures. Happy treasure hunting!


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About the author

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Drew Pond

Wealth Plan Design Specialist

Drew Pond is an independent financial advisor and CFP® Practitioner at oXYGen Financial, specializing in portfolio construction, goals-based planning, life and long-term care insurances, and retirement plans, with 7 years' experience in the financial services industry. He lives in Midtown, Atlanta.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice. Investor Disclosures: https://bit.ly/KF-Disclosures

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation.

Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

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Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice. https://Bit.ly/KF-Disclosures

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