Q:

When is someone's property officially considered unclaimed?

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Quick Answer

Property becomes unclaimed after a period of time passes, determined by each state, without an account holder contacting a financial institution or company, states National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. The state takes responsibility for the unclaimed property and holds it until the responsible agency finds the rightful owner.

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Full Answer

The period of inactivity is normally at least one year, notes NAUPA. In Massachusetts, a three-year period must pass before an account holder’s assets default to the state, as detailed on Mass.gov. The Massachusetts Unclaimed Property Law requires that all institutions review their records annually to check for unclaimed property.

In New Hampshire, a five-year waiting period is in place before transferring property to the state. After three-years of being placed on the unclaimed list, the government transfers assets into the state General Fund, accessible to the owner if found, as noted by the New Hampshire State Treasurer.

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