It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year. So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections. Change It wasn't trendyfunny, nor was it coined on Twitterbut we thought change told a real story about how our users defined Unlike inchange was no longer a campaign slogan. But, the term still held a lot of weight. Here's an excerpt from our Word of the Year announcement in The national debate can arguably be summarized by the question: In the past two years, has there been enough change?
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Has there been too much? Meanwhile, many Americans continue to face change in their homes, bank accounts and jobs.
Only time will tell if the latest wave of change Americans voted for in the midterm elections will result in a negative or positive outcome.
Tergiversate This rare word was chosen to represent because it described so much of the world around us. Tergiversate means "to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc. And so, we named tergiversate the Word of the Year. Bluster In a year known for the Occupy movement and what became known as the Arab Spring, our lexicographers chose bluster as their Word of the Year for Here's an excerpt from our release that year that gives a pretty good explanation for our choice: Every state has unclaimed property laws which declare money, property, and other assets to be abandoned after a period of inactivity of three to five years.
During this abandonment period landlords, banks, utilities, hospitals, brokerage firms, mutual funds, insurance companies, and other organizations are required to try to return the valuables to their rightful owners.
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If they are unsuccessful, they then turn the property over to the state's abandoned-property division or unclaimed property office. New Jersey, US, the unclaimed property is returned to the state of the property owner's last known address. If no address is known, it is returned to the state in which the business holding the funds is incorporated. The unclaimed property office then tries to find the rightful owners, by placing advertisements in newspapers and trying to trace the owners.
Unfortunately, many states only advertise the new additions to their files.
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There is no time limit on claiming your property. Abandoned property has been reunited with its rightful owners 30, 40, and even 50 years after it was turned over to the state. Some states have unclaimed property dating to the late s.
A few states have started setting time limits, but in most cases a tracer that talks about statute of limitations is trying to create a false sense of urgency.
If the owner of the property is deceased, the relatives can file for the unclaimed property. If you think there might be unclaimed property that belongs to you, call or write to the unclaimed property office in each state in which you or your deceased relatives have ever lived. A list of the addresses of state unclaimed property offices appears below. It is a good idea to check with these offices every five years, even if you are certain that you haven't lost any property.
The unclaimed property office will ask for your name including your maiden or former namesyour Social Security number, current address, and all previous addresses where you lived while in the state. They will want the same information about any other individual for whom you're the legal beneficiary.
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The unclaimed property office will use this information to check their database. If there's a match, they'll send you a form to fill out.
You'll have to provide proof that you are who you say you are a photocopy of your driver's license will dothat you resided at the address you provided a bill showing your name at the address or a copy of your tax return showing the addressand that the money is yours a pay stub, bank book, utility bill, or similar documentation of a connection between you and the money.
If money is in someone else's name, you will also have to supply proof that you're the beneficiary, such as a copy of the deceased's will. Once you submit the claim form, it should take about two months for you to get the check.
Even if you don't find any money, you should continue to check with the unclaimed property offices every few years. Sometimes the money takes a while before it is turned over to the unclaimed property office.
Don't Pay Finder's Fees Don't pay a fee for someone to locate your unclaimed property.
Tracers are professionals who make a living finding the owners of unclaimed property. They then contact the owners, and offer to help them locate their unclaimed property for a fee. All you get for the fee is the name and address of the state unclaimed property office that has your property. If a tracer tells you there's money waiting for you, you can call the state yourself and get the money without having to pay anybody anything. States return abandoned property for free.
If the tracer is unwilling to tell you which state has the unclaimed property, try calling or writing each of the states listed below. Start first with the states in which you've lived, and the states in which your deceased relatives lived.
Also try the state in which the tracer is located, since many tracers specialize in tracing their home state's unclaimed property listings.
Once you know that there is unclaimed property waiting for you in some state's coffers, it is very easy to file a claim. If all else fails, sending a postcard to each of the state unclaimed property offices will cost you less than most finder fees.
If you come up empty-handed, try waiting a year and trying again. Some tracers buy unclaimed property lists directly from major companies, in order to get a head start on the state unclaimed property office.
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A few states have passed laws making it illegal to charge finders fees once the unclaimed property is published on the state's list. Of course, you may decide to pay the tracer's fee because it is convenient. You have some leverage in the negotiation because they do not get paid if you do not sign the contract.
Also ask for information about their guarantees. For example, in some cases you may already know about the property and were just not aware that it had been turned over to the state. Ask about the amount of money.