Did you know?
Unclaimed Property is unclaimed or abandoned intangible property.
Unclaimed Property represents a certain obligation a company is holding for another person or business. It includes checking and saving accounts, certificates of deposit, over payments, insurance checks, payroll checks, utility refunds, money orders, un-cashed checks, dividends, stocks, bonds, contents of safe deposit boxes and more.
Approximately one out of five South Dakotans have money owed to them.
In fiscal year 2015, South Dakota's State Treasurer Rich Sattgast returned $15.7 million to the rightful owners. The Unclaimed Property Division received over 4,000 claims from South Dakotans and returned nearly $6 million more than the previous year. There is currently $280 million in South Dakota's unclaimed property program alone and an estimated $42 billion dollars in unclaimed property nationally.
Every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and even Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta in Canada have unclaimed property programs that actively and continuously find owners of lost and forgotten assets.
If you have ever lived in another state or a U.S. territory, forgotten funds could be waiting for you in another unclaimed property database. Visit www.missingmoney.com to check all unclaimed property databases at once.
Unclaimed property laws have been around since at the 1930s, but have become much broader and more enforced in the last 25 years.
The Uniform Unclaimed Property Act of 1981 requires businesses and financial institutions to review their records each year to determine whether they hold any funds, securities or other property that have been unclaimed for the required abandonment period and to make an annual report of their findings.
Each state incorporated different parts of the Unclaimed Property Act of 1981into their state laws. So the reporting and claiming process along with the type of property accepted into Unclaimed Property will vary from state to state. For more information on South Dakota's Unclaimed Property laws, go here.
New unclaimed property funds are reported to the state throughout the year.
South Dakota State Law (SDCL 43-41B) requires all businesses and financial institutions, otherwise known as a "holder," to report unclaimed property after an account or fund has been left dormant for one to three years depending on the property type. A holder must attempt to contact the owner and return the money before turning over the property to the state. That's why it's important to check the unclaimed property database listing regularly.
If you are a business owner or work for a financial institution that has unclaimed property to report, review the Reporting Manual for updated reporting practices or contact the Unclaimed Property Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State does not own the funds turned over to Unclaimed Property.
The funds and the liability associated with them are transferred from the business or financial institution to the State. South Dakota acts as the custodian of the money until the rightful owner comes forward and claims the funds.
If the rightful owner of unclaimed funds is deceased, the family can still claim the money.
It's a common misconception that the money perpetually stays with the state if the rightful owner does not claim the property before passing. The heirs, executor or personal representative can claim the funds on the deceased's behalf. Contact the South Dakota Unclaimed Property Division for more information at email@example.com.