Ask Noel

I have a 14-year-old daughter and my ex-partner and I opened a savings account in her name when she was a baby. I no longer have the account details since we separated more than 13 years ago. Can my daughter find this account and keep the money? I think there will be more than $20,000 in the account now. I'm a single parent on $45,000 a year with a mortgage of $170,000. Will I have to wait until she is 16 or 18?

Go to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website moneysmart.gov.au and you will find a wealth of information on tracing unclaimed funds. The legal position would depend on the ownership of the funds - if it was held by you or your ex-partner as trustee, you should be able to access the funds, but if it was held in your daughter's name she could almost certainly have access if she produced ID.

I have bank loans with redraw facilities against my investment properties. My broker suggested

I get a line-of-credit instead of getting another loan from the bank for my future property investment. Why is that?

You would need to ask your broker why he recommends that course of action, but it may well be to give you flexibility. If you have a redraw facility, you have credit available at any stage if you wish to buy more properties. But if you have to make a new loan application every time you want to buy something, there could be extra costs involved.

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature. Readers should seek their own professional advice before making decisions. Email: noelwhit@gmail.com.

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