Treasure hunt money not always easy to get - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Treasure hunt money not always easy to get

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Before you throw away that dusty box of old documents in the attic, a word of warning from an eastern Iowan.

The paperwork might be your ticket to money the state is holding in your or a deceased loved one's name.

It sounds easy enough; see if your name's on the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt list and fill out the form to get your money the state is holding.

But for some eastern Iowans like Charlotte Engel, it's not that simple.

Her advice?

"I'd say save all your papers and don't wait so long. It's been 32 years," Engel said.

32 years since the Waverly woman's mom passed away, but only in recent years has she tried to claim some money in her mother's name.

"I'm a sole heir. I was an only child," she said.

State officials say getting the money should only take about three weeks, unless more than one person is involved or it's a larger amount.

"If you have $100 missing it's a lot easier. If you have $10,000 coming, there's a little bit more involved process," said Michael Fitzgerald, the state treasurer.

Fitzgerald says the state has returned more than 130-million dollars to over 100,000 Iowans.

"Our job is to be the trustee. To hold this money until we can find the rightful owner and give it back to them," he added.

To find out if the state is holding your or a loved one's money, go to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt on-line and enter your name.

We've put a link to the website under featured reports.

Don't forget to try your maiden name or common misspellings.

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