The laws in most states require banks and other business “holders” of unclaimed property to remit (or “escheat”) the unclaimed funds to the state, which then holds the property subject to being claimed by the rightful owner. Dormant or inactive bank accounts and uncashed checks from dividends, utility and other refunds are the most common types of unclaimed property. Unclaimed property can be easily searched in most states, e.g., in Michigan, by reviewing online information searched by last name at www.michigan.gov/unclaimedproperty. A search for unclaimed property is always advisable when administering a deceased parent’s or relative’s estate.
For more information, contact Tom Hammerschmidt in Ann Arbor at 734-623-1602 or any member of the Firm’s Taxation or Estate Planning & Administration practice groups.