top of page

Unclaimed State Funds

What does unclaimed property mean?
The definition of unclaimed property refers to any financial asset that has been abandoned or unclaimed by the rightful owner for a specific period of time. Examples include:

  • Bank accounts and contents of safe deposit boxes

  • Dividends, payroll or cashier’s checks

  • Stocks, bonds, mutual fund accounts

  • Mineral interest or royalty payments

  • Court deposits, trust funds, escrow accounts

  • Inactive savings accountings

  • Life insurance proceeds

  • Customer overpayments

  • Used gift certificates

  • In short, these items must be given to the owner or turned over to the state. If they are given to the state, the Secretary of State will list the items on the official state website. This website is accessible to the public and can be used to search for unclaimed property.

Common Questions on Unclaimed Property
Connecting identified unclaimed property with the rightful owner can be difficult and time consuming process. Businesses need to make sure they are diligent in trying to locate the owner and documenting their efforts.

Many businesses end up asking the following questions:

  • What types of property do I have that may be subject to these rules?

  • What is the value that should be reported?

  • To what state should the property be reported to?

  • How do I go about tracking down the property owner?

  • How do I know whether or not an account is dormant?

  • How long after the account is dormant do I have to report it?

There may be different answers to these questions depending on the official state policies where an unclaimed property item is reported. Different states have different rules for reporting, and there are strict timelines to follow. Some states see unclaimed property as a revenue source, even though unclaimed property is not technically a tax. Other states, such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, approach unclaimed property from a consumer protection perspective. This is helpful, as it should result in a state’s collaboration with a company, instead of fostering a confrontational review.

Office Meeting
bottom of page