This story is a good reminder that having a sound estate/asset protection strategy is a good idea. Basically, individual states are so strapped for cash that they are being aggressive in the liquidation of “unclaimed property”. As the article reveals, the states aren’t always correct in what is actually unclaimed.
Here are some tips that come from the article mixed with some of my own.
Make contact with your bank, your brokerage firm, etc. at least once a year, in a way that creates a paper trail. Make sure they have your current address.
Look into Trusts (revocable, living revocable, etc.) to see if they make sense for your situation.
Don’t assume that a Will is sufficient. Research the high costs of probate court.
If you don’t have a will check out how your state has decided to divide up your assets in place of a will or a trust.
If you own stock, occasionally vote your proxies or take other steps to keep your stock ownership active. Stay in touch with your broker.
Write a list of all your accounts and keep it with your will, so your heirs will know where to look.
Consider insuring valuables even if you keep them in your safe-deposit box. That way, you’re covered financially if the bank or state makes a mistake and empties your box. Plus, safe-deposit contents have been known to be destroyed by fire or flooding.
What do you guys think about this? It certainly seems to make sense for the companies that are using the tax code to their advantage. Do uncompetitive tax rates hurt the workers in a country? If you were the CEO of a firm and all of your major competitors moved their headquarters overseas to take advantage of lower tax rates, how would you respond?