Frequently Asked Questions
About Unclaimed Property
What is Unclaimed Property?
Unclaimed Property is generally defined as any financial asset that has been left inactive by the owner for a period of time specified by the law, generally three (3) years.
What is NOT considered unclaimed property?
Items that are not considered unclaimed property include abandoned vehicles, real estate, furniture and stolen property. In fact, tangible items are rarely included in unclaimed property. Those that are included usually consist of small items, such as coins or jewelry that can fit inside a safe deposit box.
How do I find out about real estate or land?
Real estate or land are not unclaimed property. You can call the Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) in the county where the parcel is located to obtain information about land ownership.
Can I find out about my unclaimed income tax refund with the Unclaimed Property Section?
State and federal income tax refund checks are not delivered to the Unclaimed Property Division. To inquire about a Kentucky tax refund check, please contact the Department of Revenue at (502)564-3226.
How does the state get Unclaimed Property?
Kentucky’s Unclaimed Property Law requires corporations, businesses, associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies (referred to as “Holders”) to annually report and deliver unclaimed property to the State Treasurer’s Office. Holders identify accounts as unclaimed property when there has been no activity in the account for a specific amount of time, generally three (3) years and attempts to contact the owner fail.
Why are there Unclaimed Property Laws?
Unclaimed Property Laws exist to protect the property rights of owners and reunite them with their funds. The Kentucky State Treasury becomes a “lost and found” of unclaimed money owed to Kentuckians; there is a central place for owners to search and recover their assets.
How do I keep my property from being turned over to the state?
There are several steps you can take to prevent your property from being turned over to the State:
- Cash dividend, interest, or refund checks promptly.
- Keep accurate records of all financial accounts and review them at least once a year.
- Maintain annual activity on accounts.
- Provide financial institutions with a primary contact, secondary contact, or beneficiary contact name.
- Remain aware of accounts.
- Respond promptly to notifications from the business.
- Keep a list of all bank accounts, stock certificates, broker accounts, insurance policies, utility and other deposits, and safe deposit box numbers in a safe secure location.
- If you move, notify all parties of your new address.
- If you stop receiving dividends, contact the company immediately.
What does the state do to find unclaimed property owners?
The Kentucky State Treasury website provides the public with 24-hour access to information regarding unclaimed property. Our website has pages dedicated specifically to unclaimed property and how to retrieve it. The Kentucky State Treasury annually attends and participates in the Kentucky State Fair in which a booth is set up for advertising the Unclaimed Property Division and how to initiate a claim. Treasurer Ball routinely gives speeches and interviews across the entire Commonwealth; in nearly every speech she includes information on the Unclaimed Property Division and that Kentuckians can seek more information about how to retrieve unclaimed property through the Treasury website.
I saw my name on an unclaimed property website, but they wanted my credit card information to file a claim. Should I provide this information?
No. You should not pay anyone any amount of money to tell you how to find unclaimed property. These websites, after receiving your payment, will usually just refer you to the state’s unclaimed property website which is already available for you to search as much and often as you want free of charge.
I have been contacted by an agency that says they will claim my property for me for a small fee. What should I do?
If you have been contacted by a fee finder or asset locator, try to locate your property on your own before signing a contract. A fee finder service is not needed to claim your property. If you have concerns about a fee finder or asset locator, contact the Kentucky Better Business Bureau agency.
Searching for Unclaimed Property & Requesting a Claim Form
How do I search to see if I have unclaimed property?
Conduct your free search at missingmoney.com. Search for yourself, family, friends, your business, and/or employer – it’s free! If you see your name, and can verify the address as your current or former address, file a claim online through http://www.missingmoney.com. Documentation will be required for proof of ownership
Who can claim funds listed in the database?
Only the owner, heir, or court appointed representative can file a claim for unclaimed property. If you are not sure if the property belongs to you, write down the property identification number and contact our office.
How far back do unclaimed property records go?
Kentucky State Unclaimed Property laws have been in effect since the 1940’s.
There is no address listed with the name I found in the database. How do I find out if it belongs to me?
If a company does not report an address with a name the claimant will be required to provide proof that they did business with the company who reported the property. It may be necessary to contact the reporting company to see if they can provide you with documentation that will verify you are the owner of the account. If you have never done business with the company reporting the property then the funds may belong to someone else.
If you would like more information on an account, or need contact information for the reporting company, write down the property identification number and call or email our office to see if we have any additional information available.
I still live at the address shown in your records. Why was the property reported to the state?
There could be a number of reasons the holder didn't contact you before reporting and transferring the property as unclaimed. The company may have sent a letter and it could have been delivered to another address by mistake. There may have been a merger or acquisition of the company. The acquiring company may not have had time to send notices before the property was reported to the state. Please note companies are not required to notify owners of items under $100.00 prior to reporting and transferring it to us.
How much is my claim?
The Kentucky State Treasurer’s Office can only release dollar amounts on the official claim form due to privacy acts. For most accounts, www.missingmoney.com will show if a property is over or under $100.
I received a letter from the holding company that stated my property was reported/escheated to Kentucky, but I can’t find my name on missingmoney.com. Where is my property?
When a ‘due diligence’ letter is issued and the letter gives a date that the recipient has to reply, this is NOT the date the funds are released to the state of Kentucky. The reporting deadline is November 1st. Most property is not received until that deadline. If it is prior to November 1st, you may want to contact the reporting company. After November 1st, our staff works diligently to enter all new accounts into our database as quickly as possible.
I was told my money was reported to the state as “aggregate.” What does this mean?
Some companies use the option of leaving your name off the funds if the total amount is under $100. Instead of reporting thousands of tiny accounts worth only a few dollars each, they bundle them all together and turn it over as one lump sum. If this is your case, your name will not appear on our site. To claim funds that were part of an aggregate lump sum, the reporting company will need to send us a statement/letter with the following information: dollar amount owed to you, the year it was reported, the total amount of their report on which it was included, the amount of the aggregate account, and the owner information. We will use that information to find your account and send you a claim form.
I received a claim form in the mail and I didn’t request one. How did this happen?
The Kentucky Unclaimed Property Section is currently matching the reported names and Tax ID numbers of possible unclaimed property owners with various databases in an attempt to locate an accurate address and return funds being held to the owner. When our staff identifies a potential new address for an unclaimed property owner, we mail a claim form to the possible owner.
How can I find my US Savings Bonds?
Each year, 25,000 payments are returned to the United States Department of the Treasury as undeliverable. In addition, billions of dollars in savings bonds have stopped earning interest, but haven't been cashed. To learn more, visit the United States Treasury website.
How do I find a lost insurance policy that is not on the unclaimed property list?
If you believe you may be entitled to benefits from a life insurance policy, the American Council of Life Insurers offers these suggestions for conducting your own search for old policies.
- Check your loved one's papers and address and telephone books to look for life insurance policies and the names of insurance agents. Contact every insurance company with which they may have had a policy, even if you're not sure the policy is still in force.
- Check with the employee benefits office at their latest and previous places of employment. Or, check with the union welfare office.
- Check bank books and canceled checks for the last few years to see if any checks may have been written to pay life insurance premiums.
- Check the mail for one year after death for premiums notices, which usually are spent annually. If a policy has been paid up, there will not be any notice of premium payments due. However, the company may still send an annual notice regarding the status of the policy or it may pay or send notice of a dividend.
- Review your loved one's income tax returns for the past two years. Look for interest income from and interest expenses paid to life insurance companies. Life insurance companies pay interest on accumulations on permanent policies and charge interest on policy loans.
- Contact the life insurance companies directly to see if a policy exists. Each state insurance department has a listing of life insurance companies licensed to business in its state.
Filing a Claim: What to do and what to expect
What type of proof is needed to verify a claim?
There are two types of proof that need to be satisfied for every claim before it can be paid. The first is the proof that the person making the claim is actually that person (prove you are John/Jane Doe). The second is proof that ties the claimant to the unclaimed property account (prove you are the correct John/Jane Doe). Section D of the claim form provides the specific instructions as to what you must provide to support your claim. Failure to provide all the required documentation will delay the processing of your claim.
What if I lost or do not have my social security card?
You may provide a copy of a tax return, insurance card, or another document that shows your social security number.
Is it safe to provide your office with my social security number?
Personal information relating to unclaimed property claimants, including Social Security Numbers, is confidential. Your social security number is necessary in order for a state check to be issued to you.
What if I can’t provide proof of the reported address?
We will do everything we can to assist you in establishing ownership. If you can’t submit proof of address, write a simple note explaining this was a mailing address you previously used, but are unable to provide proof of this. We will research this information and attempt to match the address for you, but we can’t promise payment without it. Any pertinent information you can provide on the address can assist us in our research.
Examples for Proof of Address
- Auto Registration
- Stock Certificate
- Old Driver’s License
- Credit Report
- Lease Agreements
- Work Records
- Medical Records
- School Records/Transcripts
- Marriage/Death Certificate
- Utility Statement
- Bank Statement
- Court Documents
- Medical Card
- Insurance Policy
- Birth Certificates
- Divorce Decree
- Canceled Check
- Income Tax Return
- Report Card
- Pay Stub
- Postmarked Envelope Addressed to You
- Blank or canceled check, deposit slip
- Church records
- Letter from 911 office verifying new & old address
- Military records
What do I do if there is another owner listed on my account?
Joint owners must file together. If this is not possible, please include as much information and supporting documentation to show how you own the property so we can more easily make a determination if you are the rightful owner. Some examples of supporting documentation include (but are not limited to) a copy of the joint owner’s death certificate, divorce decree, property settlement, letter of release or letter of no interest. Because of the complexities of such properties, we may have to contact you to request additional information.
What is a "notary public"?
A notary public serves as an impartial witness to the signing of important documents. Banks and other financial institutions generally have notaries on staff. Those that do not can typically direct you to a notary.
What does it mean when you ask if the estate was probated?
Probate means the decedent’s estate was overseen by a court of law. For information on probate and court documents, you can contact the County District Court in the county where the probate originally took place. If nothing was previously overseen by a court, you may contact the County District Court in the county where the original owner deceased. You may need to ask for the Probate Division.
Is there a time limit for filing a claim?
No. Unclaimed property is always available to the owner.
Can I fax the claim form?
No. We do not accept faxed or emailed claim forms. Forms must be sent in with original signatures.
I have more than one claim to submit. May I send them together in one envelope with only one set of the proof requested?
Yes. You may submit all the claim forms in one envelope. You do not need to send multiple copies of the same proof - such as your photo identification. All claim forms need to be signed.
I have all my paperwork ready. Can I come into the Unclaimed Property Office to file my claim?
Yes. The Unclaimed Property Office sees visitors Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM. Claims are processed in the order they are received in our office so coming to our office does not expedite processing of your claim. A check will not be issued immediately if you visit the Kentucky Treasury.
I have had a change in address since I filed my claim; what do I do?
If you have moved since you filed your claim with our office, you can submit your change in address to our office by mail, fax, or email. Changes in address should include your name and claim number.
How long will it take to receive my check?
The length of time it will take for your claim to be completed depends on the number of claims received prior to your claim. We review claims in the order received. For an update on your claim or to check the status of our current backlog you may contact us by email at email@example.com. Please be sure to include the claim identification number.
Once my claim is approved, can my refund be direct deposited?
We cannot direct deposit funds. A check will be sent to the address you listed on your claim form.
Am I Entitled To Any Dividends Or Stock Splits For My Securities While They Are Being Held By Your Office?
Any dividends or transactions that occurred while in the account of the State will be added to your property.
How Are Stock (Security) Accounts Paid?
Stock claims are not issued Stock Certificates any longer. Due to SEC regulations, most stocks are transferred electronically, deposited into an account for the owner. Once your claim is approved, the State will request the transfer agent to transfer the stock into your account. You may receive documentation from the transfer agent that will require your signature to open a new account.
Will you issue a 1099 for these assets?
The State of Kentucky does not issue 1099’s.