Like nearly every other state in the United States, current and prior residents of Indiana have forgotten about property that belongs to them. While most states utilize the services of their Treasurer, those who are interested in learning how to find unclaimed property in Indiana must contact the Attorney General.
Types of unclaimed property
Indiana statues provide a list of the types of property that are considered to be abandoned or unclaimed. In spite of what most people think, generally unclaimed property does not include cars, real estate or other physical assets. Some physical assets such as stock certificates, safe deposit box contents and checks are covered under the unclaimed property statutes.
How property becomes unclaimed
Property that is designated as “unclaimed” is more commonly known as abandoned property. Based on specific time frames property is considered abandoned after the property holder (e.g., banks, government agencies or employers) is unable to find the rightful owner. When this occurs, the holder has an obligation to report the property to the state of Indiana as abandoned property.
How much property is abandoned?
According to the website that was set up by the Indiana Attorney General, millions of dollars in assets are designated as unclaimed annually. These funds are reported to the AG then they are turned over to the state for safe-keeping. Property such as uncashed checks, security deposits and safe deposit box contents are reported to the state.
Finding the rightful owner
On an annual basis, and always before November 30 of each year, the Attorney General publishes a list of abandoned property in newspapers around the state. Generally, the lists are published in the newspaper that is distributed to the last known address of the property owner. In addition, the Attorney General in Indiana provides the website “Indiana Unclaimed”. Account owners, decedents and agents may search the online database for property.
Time restrictions and cost
While most states will hold assets for the rightful owner or heirs, Indiana statutes state that any property that remains unclaimed for a period of 25 years will become the property of the state. Once the 25 years have passed, the property may no longer be claimed. Indiana does not charge a fee for claiming assets, a claim form will be needed.
Those who live in Indiana or have family members who have lived in Indiana should take the time to review the Indiana unclaimed property list. While not everyone may find funds that they might be entitled to, it only takes a few minutes of your time and may prove to be beneficial.