Uncovering Unclaimed Assets in Australia: How to Reclaim Your Lost Wealth
Have you ever wondered if you have unclaimed assets in Australia? According to recent statistics, there are over $1 billion in unclaimed assets in Australia. These unclaimed assets belong to millions of Australians who have either forgotten about them or have not been informed of their existence. The good news is that you can reclaim your lost wealth by following some simple steps.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about unclaimed assets in Australia, including what they are, where to find them, and how to claim them.
What are Unclaimed Assets?
Unclaimed assets are any type of financial asset that has been abandoned by the owner. This could be money that has been sitting in a bank account that has not been touched for years, unclaimed shares, or insurance payouts that have not been claimed. Other examples of unclaimed assets include lost superannuation accounts, unclaimed inheritances, and unclaimed dividends.
Where to Find Unclaimed Assets in Australia
The Australian government has set up a number of databases and websites to help individuals search for unclaimed assets. Here are some of the most useful resources to check:
- Rightful Claims
Rightful Claims can help you locate unclaimed assets in Australia. This website allows you to search for unclaimed money, lost superannuation, and other unclaimed assets in Australia. You can also use this website to claim any assets that belong to you.
- The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) MoneySmart website
The ASIC MoneySmart website is a great resource for finding unclaimed money in Australia. You can search for unclaimed money by entering your name or the name of a deceased relative. The website will show you if there are any unclaimed funds in your name.
- The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) SuperSeeker
If you have lost track of your superannuation funds, the ATO SuperSeeker is a great resource to help you find them. You can search for any lost superannuation accounts by entering your name and date of birth.
- State Revenue Office (SRO)
Each state in Australia has a state revenue office that is responsible for managing unclaimed assets in that state. You can search the relevant state revenue office website to check if you have any unclaimed assets in that state.
- Public Trustee
The Public Trustee is responsible for managing unclaimed estates in Australia. If a relative has passed away and you think they may have left behind an unclaimed estate, you can contact the Public Trustee to find out if you are entitled to any of the assets.
How to Claim Unclaimed Assets
Once you have found unclaimed assets that belong to you, the next step is to claim them. The process of claiming unclaimed assets will depend on the type of asset and the state it is located in. Here are some general steps to follow when claiming unclaimed assets:
- Gather Evidence
Before you can claim any unclaimed assets, you will need to provide evidence of your identity and ownership of the asset. This could include providing a copy of your driver’s license or passport, a birth certificate, or a marriage certificate.
- Complete the Claim Form
Each state and territory in Australia has a different claim form for unclaimed assets. You will need to complete the relevant form and provide all the necessary information and evidence.
- Submit the Claim Form
Once you have completed the claim form, you will need to submit it to the relevant government agency. This could be the state revenue office, the ATO, or the Public Trustee.
- Wait for a Response
After you have submitted your claim form, you will need to wait for a response from the government agency. This could take several weeks or months, depending on the complexity of your claim.
- Receive Payment
If your claim is successful, you will receive payment for the unclaimed asset. This could be in the form of a bank transfer, a check, or a deposit into your superannuation account.
Tips for Finding and Claiming Unclaimed Assets
- Keep your personal information up-to-date
One of the main reasons why people lose track of their assets is because they have not updated their personal information. Make sure that you keep your contact details, address, and other personal information up-to-date with all financial institutions.
- Check regularly for unclaimed assets
It is important to check for unclaimed assets regularly, especially if you have moved house or changed your name. Set a reminder to check for unclaimed assets once a year, and use the resources mentioned above to conduct your search.
- Be patient
The process of claiming unclaimed assets can be time-consuming, and you may need to provide a lot of evidence to support your claim. Be patient and persistent, and follow up with the relevant government agency if you have not received a response after several weeks.
- Beware of scams
Unfortunately, there are scammers who try to take advantage of people who are searching for unclaimed assets. Be wary of any emails or phone calls that ask for personal information or money in exchange for help with claiming unclaimed assets.
Over $1 billion in unclaimed assets are waiting to be claimed in Australia. By following the steps outlined in this article and regularly checking for unclaimed assets, you can reclaim what belongs to you. Keep your personal information up-to-date with financial institutions, stay vigilant, and beware of scams. Be patient and persistent during the claims process. Contact the relevant government agency or seek professional advice if you have any questions or need assistance.