Because people keep asking me about last night’s big announcement from Governor Kristi Noem .. from South Dakota Searchlight:
Noem’s acceptance of an oversized check for $384.19 in unclaimed property came at the start of her keynote speech to the Hughes-Stanley County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner at the Ramkota Event Hall in Pierre.
The money was likely a holdover from an Edward Jones college account she’d opened for one of her children years ago, Noem told the party faithful.
Read it here.
Well, that’s good. I can always appreciate getting money back from the Government. It happens rarely.
I too have unclaimed property out there.. about $47 worth from my deceased parents, which I’d be happy to collect and get off the books. $37 for my dad, and $10 for my mom.
Except I have 5 siblings scattered across the country. And for $47, I’d have to collect 5 signatures on a document besides my own. My sister Adrienne is in town. That’s no big deal. But then the convenience goes downhill quickly with the others scattered across Utah and Colorado. Somehow the time and the postage, as well as being a scold to my siblings to sign and send on to the next person that I would have to invest would not make it worth it. I know at least one, probably my brother Mike, would say “what’s the matter, are you poor now, and need the money?” just for the sake of yanking my chain.
And then, would the state split the check 6 ways? From reading the claim form the state just sent me, I think they would. So, it drops to $7.83 each, greatly diminishing the returns and any interest even further. Now, the unclaimed property fund is a good program, and South Dakota Treasurers have done a good job with it. But a couple of suggestions from an heir who sees they have cash there, but little interest in chasing such a nominal amount.
#1 – Allow electronic signatures. I can send you an obit, and my sibling’s e-mails. Add security by requesting a shot of our Driver’s licenses. But chasing down signatures is not worth the time for the return.
#2 – And even more importantly; create an option to allow us to donate it. My mom was a school nurse. I and my siblings would happily donate it to the Pierre schools, or education in general. $47 isn’t anything to us collectively, but if we and 100 or 1000 other people put our $47 together, it’s a nice donation to education.
I’m glad the Governor got her $384.19 back, as I’m sure she is, so reporters will stop asking her about it. But for those of us who have far less in unclaimed property, adding some accessibility and little flexibility could take some of it off the books. And potentially even do a minor solid for a worthy cause.
Just my 2 cents.. or $7.83 worth.