The state treasurer hopes a new outreach effort will get more unclaimed property back in the hands of the Missourians it belongs to.
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel says a lot of the nearly 700 million dollars in unclaimed property his office oversees belongs to older Missourians. So, his office is reaching out to that population through partnerships with AARP and the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Whether it’s Alzheimer’s or ageing in general, life does get complicated and having caregivers that have the tools to help you along in that process is really important. Unclaimed property is just a small piece of what it takes for someone who’s going through Alzheimer’s. It’s a small piece of their financial situation that they may need to put in order in addition to their own emotional life, too, but it is an important piece.”
Zweifel says his office has found that many older Missourians and their caregivers are confused about unclaimed property, so much of the focus of the partnership will be on education.
“We’ve already begun … the process of educating their volunteers that are on the ground throughout the state, and then finally developing educational materials that become part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s presentations, become part of AARP volunteers’ speeches, so that unclaimed property is something that they look to immediately as a place for resources.”
Zweifel says the goal is also to educate Missourians on how to keep their belongings from winding up in unclaimed property.
“We have organizations like Alzheimer’s Association and AARP that are already giving lessons for caregivers and giving experiences for those that are aging on how to prevent this from happening. It could be as simple as developing a living will or living trust. It could be as simple as naming beneficiaries on all your accounts … persons whom you trust.”
Zweifel says such steps not only prevent having unclaimed property, but they can help in keeping financial affairs in order.