The Illinois State Treasurer sent out an email blast this week trumpeting the new ICash portal, which enables anyone to search for unclaimed property held by the State. Curious, I ran a couple of searches and discovered that yes, the State has money owed to me or to people whose estates I'm the beneficiary of.
In total, I have four claims to lost property going back to 1999. Three of the people owed this money have died, most recently in 2007. But only one of the three estates has wound up, while the other two remain active trusts. So in order to get the money, I need to find 20-year-old estate documents, establish the identities of all three dead people and my relationships to them, swear out notarized affidavits to all of that, and wait for the State to process the forms.
The total amount owed to me or my ancestors? $185.
So, for approximately $1,000 in copying fees, research fees, legal fees, and postage, not to mention several hours of my time (I charge my good clients more than that per hour), I can recover enough unclaimed property to take a friend to a nice dinner.
If only they had a checkbox for "it's not worth it, let it escheat."