I read this article on Monday and brought up the subject at work and to Jay and Clif because I wanted to know what others would do in this situation. A man bought a house and when inspecting it, he found $45,000 in a metal WWII ammo case in an attic space over the garage.
The Consumerist sums it up basically how I would:
Inside the box and seven others like it he found $45,000 in cash, all tightly wound up and balled with twine. It was secreted there by the house’s previous owner, a man who died there last November. The man who found it thought of all the things he could do for his family with that money. Repair their car. Adopt a child. Fix up the new house. But he knew what he had to do.
“I could imagine him in his workshop. From time to time, he would carefully bundle up $100 with twine, climb up into his attic and put it into a box to save, the man told the Deseret News. “And he didn’t do that for me.”
The original article has more details is definitely worth a read.
So my question is this: What would YOU do? Clif said he’d find a lawyer to advise him of what he legally could do while I think I’d have to follow the moral route and give it back because otherwise I’d be plagued by guilt in the form of anxiety attacks if I kept it if I knew a way to contact the rightful beneficiaries of the found money. I brought this up because when I was getting off the airplane on Friday night at LaGuardia, I found a whole $4 on the floor of the hallway leading off the plane. I picked it up, held it up and went, “Did anyone…?” I stopped asking after about 3 seconds when I realized that no one was even paying attention to me holding up $4 in singles to find its owner. I promptly went to the bathroom to check it in private and I have to admit, was really hoping that there was like a $100 mixed in within that single that I saw on top. In that case, I felt bad because it was money that I wasn’t given as a gift/didn’t earn but was totally cool justifying under the “Finders, keepers” rule.
So my question to anyone out there reading this is this (and please answer me in the comments so we can maybe get a discussion going) – If you had found $45,000, would you have tracked down the rightful inheritants or would you have kept it for yourself?