Keep it, Will it, Flag it

Posted in: Finance Last updated: 29 Jun 2012

Have you ever wondered if there is any unclaimed money belonging to you?

It has been estimated that a huge £15bn to £20bn is lying unclaimed across a range of financial institutions in the UK.

To make the most out of our money, many of us spread it across a variety of accounts or policies, but years down the line we could find ourselves baffled as to how much money we’ve put away and where. As a result, the money that we’ve strived hard for could be lying abandoned in forgotten bank accounts or policies. Millions of Brits may also have unclaimed inheritance money they are unaware of because their loved ones have forgotten to tell them that a policy exists.

The Engage Mutual ‘keep it, will it, flag it’ initiative aims to help keep your financial affairs completely up to date; accessible to the people you trust; and ready for every eventuality by providing a downloadable check list of pointers for you to keep as a handy reminder.

Keep it

It is incredibly easy for us to misplace important financial information, especially with accounts or policies that we opened several years ago. If you have lost touch with an account, contact the organisation concerned to make sure you don’t have any forgotten funds.

Has your financial institution disappeared off the radar? It could be that the organisation has changed its name or been taken over, you can search for organisations on www.mylostaccount.org.uk. If you do have any unused accounts, you may wish to formally close them and get rid of any related documents (this will make things less confusing for your trusted person/s who may one day need to manage your affairs).

Make sure you look after important financial information, duplicate copies of important documents just in case they are lost or destroyed. These could be kept with a trustworthy person or stored with your will in the safe hands of your solicitor.

We particularly recommend looking after the following documents:

  • Life insurance
    Your life insurance is the link to your claim in the event of your death. Store it safely but ensure those handling your affairs can find it so that they can notify the insurance company and process the claim.
  • Savings plans/bonds/certificates
    Store any statements or savings documents in a safe place so that you can easily refer to them in the future.
  • Bank/building society/ savings accounts
    Make a note of your account details and the amount of money in each one, always record the amount of money in your online accounts too. It’s a good idea to keep up to date copies of pass books safe.
  • Pensions
    Do you have pension pots in different places? Don’t lose touch with the funds you’ve saved hard for. Make a note of what you have and where it sits.

Will it

What is a will?

A will is a legal document which allows you to determine who you want to benefit from your property and possessions when you are gone. If a professional draws up your will, they will generally hold the original and provide a copy. Dying without a will can create a number of problems for family and loved ones left behind.

What makes a will valid?

You need to be aged 18 or over (in England, N Ireland and Wales, 16 in Scotland and of sound mind). In addition the will must be:

  • in writing
  • voluntary and not as a result of pressure from anyone else
  • signed in the presence of two witnesses
  • signed by the two witnesses in the presence of the person making the will
  • Scottish wills must be signed on each page as well as the last

We recommend updating your will every 5 years; or after any major changes in life such as having a child, or additional children, getting divorced, separated, or married.

Flag it

Notifying all the financial instituions you have dealings with about a change of address is probably the last thing on your mind when moving, but failing to do so could cost you precious pounds in the long term. Make sure you notify them as soon as possible before you forget.

It’s not always easy to remember where you’ve filed your important documents, always inform someone close to you where these are so that they can be easily found in the future.

Reuniting unclaimed funds

Engage Mutual works hard to reunite customers or their beneficiaries with unclaimed money that is rightfully theirs. So far we have been able to return over £1.9m. If you have taken out a policy with Engage Mutual in the past that you think you may have forgotten about, fill in the entitlement enquiry form below or call our customer services team on 0800 169 4321†. You never know, there may just be some money out there with your name on it!

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.