Utah State Treasurer David Damschen has announced that the Utah Unclaimed Property Division received more than $54.8 million in lost property at the end of 2018. This property comes from sources such as dormant bank accounts, un-cashed checks, safe deposit box contents and unpaid insurance benefits.
“We encourage Utahns to check mycash.utah.gov every year as they file their taxes to see if they have lost property to claim. We receive tens of millions of dollars in new unclaimed property each year, so the odds are good that you or a relative have unclaimed property, even if you haven’t in the past,” Treasurer Damschen said.
A property is by law considered abandoned and must be turned over to the state if the holder of the property has not had contact with the owner for three years. Property holders remitted 382,349 new properties to the Unclaimed Property Division of the State Treasurer’s Office by the November 1, 2018 annual reporting deadline, along with the names and last-known addresses of owners. The division currently safeguards more than $370 million in unclaimed property, according to a press release from the department.
“Despite our aggressive education campaigns, many people still don’t search for property because they don’t think they could have lost anything. But that is exactly what we need them to do,” Unclaimed Property Division Administrator Dennis Johnston said. “There are many ways to lose property. People might move and forget they had a deposit with the utility company, or they might be beneficiaries of life insurance policies they didn’t know existed. Checking to see if you or your friends and relatives have lost property is simple, easy and something everyone should do at least once a year.”
Unclaimed property is usually money, but the Unclaimed Property Division also regularly receives items from abandoned safe deposit boxes that can be claimed. The division has a vault full of interesting items like coins, baseball cards, art and photographs. These items are periodically sold via auction, and the proceeds remain available to be claimed by the rightful owner.
Individuals may submit a claim for properties of deceased relatives if they can prove they are the rightful heir. In any case where there is more than one heir, they can claim their portion of the property.