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Valorie Golin

Valorie Golin, an expert on dormant accounts about states that are aggressively going after inactive bank accounts in order to generate revenue.

When Valorie Golin went to visit her parents in March, the first thing she did was get into their bank accounts.

Golin had no larcenous intent. Quite the opposite. The 32-year-old banker was trying to keep the state of Pennsylvania from seizing her parents' savings.

You may assume it's safe to deposit money in a bank -- or buy stocks or other financial assets -- and then simply leave your account alone. It's not. Under most state laws, if you don't initiate a transaction or communicate with the financial institution about it, the account is considered dormant. After three years of inactivity, your assets typically can be turned over to the state.