There’s over 1.1 billion dollars in lost bank accounts, shares and life insurance payouts waiting to be claimed.

But wait, there’s more! There’s also money held in Trust by state governments, which hold unclaimed money from deceased estates, share dividends, salaries, trust money from proceeds of sales and other events.

It’s free to search the registers to see what’s there and if you have never had a look, it can be well worth the time to search.

Starting at the Moneysmart, you can search for unclaimed bank accounts and life insurance payouts both for yourself and for any members of your family.

Remember to include Aunt Dorothy, who passed in 1998 because she may have left a bonanza that’s waiting to be discovered. I find the best way is to start with a last name search – yes, this could be tedious if your last name is common. Sometimes though, a last name may be misspelt – Hayes instead of Hays certainly can and does happen.

Once you have scanned that list, it’s time to find what is held by Treasury and Public Trustees in the State or Territory you live in. There’s a page of links through Moneysmart but not all of them work; use it as guidelines of where to look up the State or States you may have lived in.

Companies, sports associations, clubs and individuals are all listed through Public Trust and Treasury websites. Victoria asks for specific information while many of the others are open listings.

Believe me when I say there’s quite a lot sitting there, some of the amounts are tiny, less than a dollar. Some are half a million dollars – waiting to be claimed.

Lastly, no matter whether you have lived in NSW or not, search the NSW register, because AMP and the ASX are both registered there and their listing are on the NSW register with addresses from every state and territory as well as from around the globe.

Happy hunting!

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