‘Unclaimed money’ refers to money from lost or old bank accounts, shares, investments or old insurance policies that have been inactive for a significant period of time. Depending on where the funds are held (i.e., a bank, a superannuation fund, an insurance policy or trust, etc), this can range from 2 to 7 years minimum.
This often happens after a person changes their name or address and do not update their details with the relevant organisation.
There is approximately 1.1 billion dollars’ worth of unclaimed money in Australia.
Money can be claimed by the following:
- Joint shareholders
- Executors of deceased estates
- Directors, secretaries or liquidators of registered companies
- Proprietors of registered businesses
- Trustees of superannuation funds or trust funds
- Parent/guardians of a minor or person holding Power of Attorney
How to claim unclaimed money
Depending on where the money is held, the process of reclaiming lost money will vary. Claims for lost money may be lodged through ASIC, Revenue NSW (or equivalent body in other States/Territories), the Fair Work Ombudsman or the ATO. In any case, the claimant will need to prove a connection to the money being claimed.
The process of recovering unclaimed money is not always straightforward, and there are several things required to prove the relevant connections to the money.
Money can usually remain unclaimed without reaching expiry for an indefinite period, even if the money is transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund. You should be able to claim your lost money no matter how much time has passed. It is important to note, however, that the longer you wait to claim unclaimed money, the more complicated the claims process can become.
If you need help claiming unclaimed money or have any questions in relation to the above, please contact our team of lawyers at The Quinn Group on (02) 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry form today.