How to Find Unclaimed Property in Hawaii

Like all states, Hawaii has millions of dollars in unclaimed assets. Residents, business owners and heirs of business owners and residents in Hawaii should know how to find unclaimed property in Hawaii. The process is not complicated, it is free and rightful owners and heirs can file a claim at any time after the property is turned over to the state.

How does property become abandoned?

Frequently when people move or become disabled they forget about personal property. Some of the types of property that are commonly turned over to the state include contents of safe deposit boxes, stocks and bonds or security deposits on apartments or for utilities. This property is often overlooked when someone moves and if not claimed within the periods of time laid out in the Hawaii unclaimed property laws, it is turned over to the state.

How do I find out about unclaimed property?

Those who have lived in Hawaii or have relatives who lived in Hawaii are encouraged to do an abandoned property search. This search may be conducted online at the Hawaii Department of Budget and Finance, Unclaimed Property Search page. Those who prefer may also contact the unclaimed property division at (808) 586-1589 extension 61589.  residents of Kauai should call (808) 274-3141, in Maui (808) 984-2400 and for Lanai & Molukai, 1-800-468-4644.  A clerk may offer to conduct the search for callers.

How do I file a claim?

Once you have established that you may be entitled to assets being held as unclaimed property in Hawaii, a claim must be filed. The claim forms must be filed and include specific information. Any claims for property worth more than $50 must be notarized. In addition, if the property to be claimed is in the form of stocks or bonds, notarizing the form is also required. In addition, claimants must provide a Form W9.

To establish ownership of the property, the State of Hawaii requires claimants to provide them with photo identification, as well as proof of having done business with the company who turned the assets over to the state. The documents that may suffice as proof include statements, cancelled checks, postmarked envelopes or tax returns. In addition, those who have had their name changed must provide proof of marriage (or divorce). In the event the property was jointly owned, the check will be payable to both owners unless proper documentation is included to show one person is entitled to the proceeds.

In the event that the original owner is deceased, there are several options for claiming property. If the decedent had a will, a copy of the certified death certificate, the will and documents proving you are the rightful heir are required. In the event that the owner died intestate (e.g., with no will) the claimant is required to prove they are related to the decedent through legal documents such as birth records or marriage records.

All claim forms must be mailed to the State of Hawaii, Unclaimed Property Program, PO Box 150, Honolulu, Hawaii 96810. It is important to note that claims may take up to 90 days to process. In addition, any original documents (such as death certificates) are required to be certified and will not be returned unless specifically requested.

Hawaii has no statute of limitations on claiming assets that are considered abandoned. Claims may be filed by the rightful owner, heirs or estate of the original owner at any time. There is no fee to claim assets.