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FAQs: Unclaimed Money & Estates

Claims

The closest heirs of the decedent or those heirs listed in a probate proceeding are entitled to claim the asset. Submit a copy of a death certificate or will. If a probate proceeding is currently being administered, send court-certified copies of the letters of administration or affidavit of claiming successor (also known as a small estates affidavit) to support your claim. If the probate proceeding is closed, submit a court-certified copy of the final decree of distribution or final order listing the heirs entitled to the decedent’s assets. Personal papers and photographs from safe deposit boxes are stored for five years before being destroyed.
Owners are not entitled to receive interest after the property is sent to the State of Oregon. The Common School Fund receives interest earnings from all unclaimed property.
If the owner cannot be contacted by the business or entity holding the funds (the “holder”) within a period of time, generally three years, the holder must send the unclaimed money to the state. Holding periods are defined in the brochure, “complying with Oregon’s Unclaimed Property Law.”
Many public agencies – including the Department of State Lands – have staff that will notarize documents for free or a small fee. You may also check with your bank or credit union, investment firm or insurance company.
Please submit documents such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or other court documents that show any name changes.
Oregon Administrative Rule 141-040-0213 outlines specific requirements for claims submitted on behalf of businesses and government agencies. Be sure all power of attorney forms and other authorizations are dated within one year of the date of inquiry.
The Department reviews claims in the order received. In busy months, it may take up to 90 days or more from the date you mail the inquiry. State law requires the Department to return funds in 120 days, unless there are complications with the claim.
Keeping all documents confidential is our highest priority. Staff are trained in procedures to ensure personal information is safeguarded; that is why we do not accept proof of identification via email.
You may submit all the claim forms in one envelope, and you do not need to send multiple copies of the same proof of identification. You should sign all of the claim inquiries but you only need to notarize the top one.
You may submit written confirmation that you lived at the reported address, and provide the approximate timeframe you lived there.
You must send in the original stock certificates, or a surety bond may be required if the asset you are claiming involves a corporate action such as a merger or buy-out. Stock and mutual funds are liquidated on a specific schedule, so you may be entitled only to the sale proceeds.
 

Reporting

Yes. Holders may report property valued at less than $50 per owner in aggregate. If detailed information is available for aggregate accounts, please attach it to the report so we can better serve claimants with small amounts of property.
No. If the securities do become transferable or gain value, report and remit the shares to our office at that time. You will not be penalized for late reporting in these situations.
For Oregon holders, you may report incidental unclaimed property for other states to Oregon unless you have received specific instructions to report from the other state. Oregon transfers incidental property for other states in June following the reporting cycle. If you report another state’s property to Oregon: 1) Report the items using that state’s abandonment period for the property; and 2) Note that you may be charged penalties and/or interest by the other state.
No. We encourage holders to report the details for all property. Aggregates were developed decades ago to simplify reporting when most reports were hand-written or typed.
If you know the owner is deceased, you may show (DECD) after the last name, but this is not required. If you only have circumstantial evidence of death, report it as normal. If the funds relate to an estate, use the relationship code ES. If you also have the executor’s name, use the relationship code EX.
If you have never reported safe keeping items before, call or email us before reporting. Some situations are not subject to reporting and are covered under the chattel lien laws.
Checks must be payable to the Department of State Lands. If you have questions, email holder@state.or.us. Please send reports with payment to: Oregon Department of State Lands, Unclaimed Property Section; 775 Summer St. NE; Suite 100;Salem, OR 97301-1279
Most property is abandoned after three years. Depending on your organization and the type of property, there are different abandonment periods. See the Report Year Conversion Table​.
Keep unclaimed property reports and related records including due diligence efforts for three years after reporting. Unclaimed property records are considered confidential beginning 12 months before and for 24 months after reporting.
In most cases you may still need to get information from them to submit a report. Unless your contract specifically notes that they take possession of the funds and the responsibility to file any unclaimed property reports required, you would still be considered the holder for unclaimed property purposes. In many cases, the vendor may already be filing required reporting on your behalf. The first step is to contact them to find out how they are handling unclaimed checks or inactive accounts.
Yes. Electronic reports must be in the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators’ (NAUPA) format, and sent on a DVD or CD. We encourage you to use our free reporting too, or HRS Pro provided by Xerox: www.wagers.net.
Foreign addresses, unknown owners, unknown addresses, and properties are reported to the holder's state of incorporation or domicile if the company is not incorporated.
If you have an active account with the State of Oregon, send a negative (zero) report to help us maintain your account information. Inactive accounts do not need to send a negative report, but you will not receive our annual newsletter and reminders. If you have never sent a report to Oregon, you do not need to submit a negative report.
Holders must make a diligent effort to locate owners of property valued at $100 or more. This should be done as soon as the account is dormant or unclaimed, and must be completed at least 60 days before remitting to the state. You must document your effort.
Between October 1 and November 1 for property abandoned as of June 30 of the report year. Property received early may be returned unless you have written approval from DSL to remit early.
No, unless you have a written contract with the owner that permits this charge.

Estates

The closest heirs of the decedent or those heirs listed in a probate proceeding are entitled to claim the asset. Submit a copy of a death certificate or will. If a probate proceeding is currently being administered, send court-certified copies of the letters of administration or affidavit of claiming successor (also known as a small estates affidavit) to support your claim. If the probate proceeding is closed, submit a court-certified copy of the final decree of distribution or final order listing the heirs entitled to the decedent’s assets. Personal papers and photographs from safe deposit boxes are stored for five years before being destroyed.
Owners are not entitled to receive interest after the property is sent to the State of Oregon. The Common School Fund receives interest earnings from all unclaimed property.
If the owner cannot be contacted by the business or entity holding the funds (the “holder”) within a period of time, generally three years, the holder must send the unclaimed money to the state. Holding periods are defined in the brochure, “complying with Oregon’s Unclaimed Property Law.”
Many public agencies – including the Department of State Lands – have staff that will notarize documents for free or a small fee. You may also check with your bank or credit union, investment firm or insurance company.
Please submit documents such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or other court documents that show any name changes.
Oregon Administrative Rule 141-040-0213 outlines specific requirements for claims submitted on behalf of businesses and government agencies. Be sure all power of attorney forms and other authorizations are dated within one year of the date of inquiry.
The Department reviews claims in the order received. In busy months, it may take up to 90 days or more from the date you mail the inquiry. State law requires the Department to return funds in 120 days, unless there are complications with the claim.
Keeping all documents confidential is our highest priority. Staff are trained in procedures to ensure personal information is safeguarded; that is why we do not accept proof of identification via email.
You may submit all the claim forms in one envelope, and you do not need to send multiple copies of the same proof of identification. You should sign all of the claim inquiries but you only need to notarize the top one.
You may submit written confirmation that you lived at the reported address, and provide the approximate timeframe you lived there.
You must send in the original stock certificates, or a surety bond may be required if the asset you are claiming involves a corporate action such as a merger or buy-out. Stock and mutual funds are liquidated on a specific schedule, so you may be entitled only to the sale proceeds.

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