In the United States there are billions of dollars of unclaimed property. Each state has its laws governing unclaimed property. Before the states enacted these laws whoever held the assets simply absorbed them. Fortunately, laws protect unclaimed property, and the states try to locate the rightful owners. If it is necessary to sell some or all of the unclaimed property, the funds received will be held for the owner. The code of laws for unclaimed property in the state of Ohio specify that the state will hold the unclaimed property until the rightful owners can be found.
Making a Claim for Unclaimed Property in Ohio
A good place to begin your search for any unclaimed property to which you are entitled in the state of Ohio is by contacting the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Unclaimed Funds. You may phone them or visit their website.
According to the laws of Ohio, you must possess an interest in an unclaimed account in order to request a claim form to begin a search. This means you must be able to prove you have a right to search for the funds.
Unclaimed property can be any of a number of things including the following, among other things: savings, certificates of deposit, salary payments, stocks and bonds, dividend checks, interest payments, insurance money, credit balances, deposits, travelers checks, money orders and other intangible assets. Property is considered lost when it is left dormant from three to five years depending on the asset. Payroll checks are only kept one year. When the appropriate time is past, and the property is considered as unclaimed, the funds are turned over to the state for safe keeping.
You may begin a search for unclaimed money by submitting your name in a form. If you are married search for both your maiden name and your married name. If your name does not occur during this initial search, give the Division of Unclaimed Property your name, present address, as well as all previous addresses in Ohio, and your phone number; they will begin a more intensive search. Annually the Division of Unclaimed Property of Ohio publishes a list of unclaimed property they have for the year for all 88 counties.
Proving Your Claim
You must provide documentation to establish that you are the rightful owner of the unclaimed property. A clear copy of your photo is required. To establish your address, you may provide a copy of your federal income tax, your driver’s license, auto registration, birth certificate, bank statement, etc. If the account was established with joint tenancy, both parties are required to claim the property. If one party of joint tenancy is deceased and the other party has the right of survivorship, he can claim the property upon proof of the death of the other party, If he does not have the right of survivorship, he may claim only half of the property, If the owner is deceased, you must contact the Probate court where the owner was living at the time of his death and get documentation from the Probate court stating that you are the rightful recipient. A minor cannot claim the property until he has reached his majority. However his guardian may claim it in his name.