Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Unclaimed Property

Every individual and company has the potential to have unclaimed property. Unclaimed property is any financial asset with no activity by its owner for an extended period of time. This includes unclaimed wages or commissions; savings and checking accounts; stock dividends; insurance proceeds; underlying shares; customer deposits or overpayments; certificates of deposit; credit balances; refunds; money orders; uncashed checks; and safe deposit box contents.
Companies are required to send funds from lost accounts to the state of the owner's last known address. Begin your search on your state’s database or MissingMoney.com, a Web site officially endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), the official collective records from most state unclaimed property programs.
If your legal entity is a business association (corporation, partnership, etc.), governmental agency, or nonprofit, you are required to file annual reports of unclaimed property. For example, in Indiana, you can report property electronically in 5 easy steps on https://indianaunclaimed.gov: (1) download the online reporting guide, (2) register to access reporting software, (3) create your NAUPA formatted report, (4) submit your report via the website, and (5) print remittance detail sheet, attach to physical check, send to: Office of the Indiana Attorney General, Unclaimed Property Division, 35 South Park Blvd, Greenwood, IN 46143. Remember:  Indiana law requires that records be retained for ten (10) years after being remitted to the State. Indiana has a November 1 annual reporting deadline. The one exception in Indiana is for life insurance companies, which must report on May 1. Indiana has the right to assess interest and penalties for noncompliance.
Property becomes lost due to a company having no communication with the owner. You should contact institutions that hold your money or property every year and especially when there is an address change or change in marital status. Keep accurate financial records and record all insurance policies, bank account numbers with bank names and addresses, types of accounts, stock certificates, and rent and utility deposits.
Tips: (1) cash all checks for dividends, wages, and insurance settlements without delay, (2) respond to requests for confirmation of account balances and stockholder proxies, (3) if you have a safe deposit box, record its number, bank name and address, and give the extra key to a trusted person, and (4) prepare and file a will detailing the disposition of your assets.
Call us at (219) 769-3616 with your questions, or email them to tlynch@swartz-retson.com.

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