How to Find Unclaimed Property in Alaska

It is not likely that Larry, your second cousin twice removed left you millions in a bank in Alaska. However, when you moved to California a year ago you may have forgotten to empty that savings account at the credit union that only had a couple hundred dollars in it. Alaska has an Unclaimed Property Program to help you make a claim and get those funds.

It is important to note that to claim property legal ownership must be determined. You could be asked for any one or more of the following documents:

* name change document
* verify business relationship
* articles of incorporation
* business license
* birth certificate
* original stock certificate
* verification of former addresses
* passport
* death certificate
* relationship to the deceased
* last will and testament
* business authorization
* power of attorney
* other miscellanies documents as deemed necessary

All of this documentation should discourage fraud attempts.

Alaska Unclaimed Property Act states businesses (both non-profit and profit) and governmental agencies must file unclaimed property reports with the Department of Revenue. Unclaimed property is defined as “any intangible amount owed or held by an organization that remains unpaid, uncashed or has no evidence of positive ownership activity for an extended period of time.  Most property is considered abandoned after three years.

There are specific exclusions to unclaimed property as well. Unclaimed property does not include most tangible items. The contents of a safety deposit box are an exception to the rule. Things like cars, and real estate are not considered unclaimed property.

Unclaimed property may be:

* uncashed payroll checks, travelers checks, or insurance payments
* gift certificates and gift cards
* utility and phone company deposits
* stocks, bonds and mutual funds
* bank accounts
* insurance proceeds
* safe deposit bank contents

There are people who scour the records and contact people to let them know they may have money waiting to be claimed. These are legal in Alaska provided they follow all the rules. It may also be a great phishing scam. It is probably best to take a few moments and take a look for yourself.

It is quite easy to run your name through the data bank. The State of Alaska recommends this Alaska Department of Treasury Department site. Here you can find email addresses, forms and phone numbers to help you with your questions and claims. There is also a comprehensive “frequent questions” section that gives clear information.