Idaho Gives Unclaimed Property Owners Up to 10 Years to Claim Their Assets

Unclaimed property, also known as abandoned property or lost money, refers to financial accounts that have had no activity in one year or longer. Whenever the bank or company tries to get a hold of the owners or their heirs, they are unable to do so. Thus, the property is considered to be “unclaimed” or “abandoned” and is turned over the state.

Each state has its own laws regarding this type of property. In Idaho, owners have up to ten years to come forth and claim their money. The dormancy period for payroll wages is one year. This means that if an employer is unable to locate or contact the former employee during an entire year, the funds need to be turned over to the state. The dormancy period for uncashed cashier’s checks is five years. This period varies depending on the type of asset.

In 2007, Idaho changed its unclaimed property law to allow itself to take ownership of property if it has remained abandoned for more than ten years. The state uses the money to pay for its deficits. The Unclaimed Property Law in ID was first established in 1961. Over the past few years, the state has paid out more than $7 million (per year) to rightful owners. However, millions of more than that is accumulated by the state each year. To date, nearly $60 million is still unclaimed.

These unclaimed assets include mutual funds, stocks, bonds, checking accounts, uncashed payroll checks, traveler’s checks, deposit box contents, utility deposits, and so forth. Most of these are just ones that people have forgotten about, although some are worth thousands of dollars.

Why are so many people not claiming their money? There could be many reasons. Some experts don’t think that Idaho is doing a good job of educating its citizens about unclaimed property. Sometimes, somebody will move away and forget that they are owed money. Sometimes a simple accounting mistake will cost someone a rebate or refund.

Some people also have a misconception about what unclaimed assets are and are not. SOME tangible items, such as jewelry and coins are reported by hotels and banks as unclaimed property. However, items left behind in vacant apartments and storage units ARE NOT considered unclaimed property in the state of Idaho.

Claimants need to provide photo ID and a SS # in order to make their claim(s). If the claimant is a business, then a federal Employer Identification number is required. There might be additional information required depending on the property type. For claiming an inheritance, for instance, the claimant must provide a copy of the death certificate, along with proof that he or she is the nearest living heir or relative. If there is a will, it should be provided also.

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