Frequently Asked Questions

Unclaimed Property is unclaimed or abandoned intangible property. Unclaimed property can be checking accounts, savings accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, utility refunds, items stored in safety deposit boxes and more. The state acquires property, which in this case does not mean land, from “holders” such as corporations, business associations, utility companies, medical offices and insurance companies after there has been no customer contact for five years.

There are many reasons why property becomes unclaimed. A few of these include errors made while updating a change of address, changing a name due to marriage or divorce, the death of an owner, or simply forgetfulness. Most property is considered abandoned if it has been inactive for five years. Wages and utility deposits become unclaimed after only one year.

No. However, some tangible items such as jewelry, gems, coins, and stamps are reported by financial institutions, hospitals, and hotels as unclaimed property.
No. When a rental customer leaves items behind in a rental or storage unit, the business owner may sell the items to recover uncollected fees, if any, for the services provided. But if the items are sold for more money than is needed to cover the bill, the business owner is required to report the excess funds as unclaimed property due to the rental customer. Many rental agreements address this issue.

The State of Idaho serves as the custodian for unclaimed property. Per Idaho code effective 2012, all property will remain available forever.

Claimant Information

The State of Idaho serves as the custodian for unclaimed property. Per Idaho code effective 2012, all property will remain available forever.

If the owner of the property is deceased, the nearest living relative or heir of the deceased, or the court-appointed executor or personal representative of the estate may claim the property. If the deceased owner did not indicate a specific distribution of his assets in a will or beneficiary statement, relatives have the right to claim the property in the order indicated in the Uniform Probate Code's "Line of Consanguinity", which is as follows:

  • The surviving spouse
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Nieces and nephews

Claims made on accounts for which the original owner(s) are deceased must include a copy of the death certificate(s) for all deceased owners listed on the account (photocopies of death certificates are acceptable). Documentation must also be included showing that the claimant is either the nearest living relative or heir of the deceased, or court-appointed executor or personal representative of the estate. If the deceased owner had a will, it should be provided.

Documentation of the name change such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption papers, or certificate of name change should be provided.

If the address reported for the unclaimed property is a previous address, the claimant may document the address by including a postmarked envelope, bill, canceled check, or other document that shows the owner lived at the reported address.

Some types of unclaimed property have been reported as belonging to two or more individuals jointly. In most cases the funds will be issued on one check payable to both or all of the individuals. If there is a reason for the funds to be distributed separately, such as a divorce, additional documentation must be provided.

Claims are processed in the order they are received and it is our goal to process your claim as quickly as possible. Under Idaho Code, we are required to consider your claim within 90 days of receiving it.

Business/Holder Information

If the property in question has not had any activity within a certain period of time (generally 5 years) and the holder is unable to locate the property owner, it is considered abandoned and must be reported.

The Unclaimed Property Law requires all businesses and state agencies to report unclaimed property to the state where the owner was last known to reside. Other rules apply if the business does not have a record of the owner address.

By law, businesses must make a good-faith effort to locate the true owner(s) before reporting the unclaimed property to the appropriate state(s). Idaho law requires that a written notice be sent to the owners at their last known address when: The address for the owner appears to be accurate The property has a value greater than $50 dollars These letters are referred to as "Due Diligence Letters" and must be sent not more than 120 days before the property is due to be reported. The business needs to identify the property that is being held for the owner and inform him that the property may be turned over to the state.

Example Due Diligence Letters

No. Each state has their own requirements, but Idaho does not require certified mailings of due diligence letters.

No. There are a variety of circumstances and reasons why a statement or notice may not be returned by the post office. The mail may have been delivered incorrectly and the recipient may simply not bother to send the mail back to the post office. It is possible the mail was delivered to the owner correctly, but was discarded accidentally as junk mail. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for certain. It is the responsibility of the business to prove that the property is not abandoned.

If you can show that the owner initiated a transaction or has more than one account, one of which is active, this would be sufficient proof. You may wish to cross-reference these accounts to avoid reporting the inactive account while the customer is still actively doing business with your organization. Also, correspondence from the customers, such as signed W-9 forms (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification) or change of address notifications is proof of awareness.

The unclaimed property report must be filed by November 1st.

The administrator may grant an extension on a case by case basis. The deadline to request an extension must be received no later than November 1 of the current reporting year. The Request for Extension, form (UP-7) is found on page 30 in your Holder Reporting Packet. Reports received after the agreed upon extension date could be charged an annual rate of 12% interest and 5% penalty from the date the property should have been received.
All reports must be submitted electronically in NAUPA II format regardless of the number of properties being submitted. The Request for Extension form (UP-7) may either be emailed to UCPBusinessQuestions@sto.idaho.gov or faxed to (208) 332-2970.

No. Idaho requires a business to file a report if they're holding property that is required to be reported.

Idaho exempts property valued at $50 or less from being reported if you are incorporated in Idaho. You may report this property voluntarily, but it is not required. However, you must report property valued at $50 or less when it belongs to individuals or businesses with an address in another state, or if your business is incorporated in another state.

Yes. Businesses may report property before the normal dormancy period has passed under the following conditions:

  • The business has tried to contact the individual
  • The business has allowed a reasonable period of time for the individual to contact them
  • Idaho's unclaimed property administrator has granted permission to the business to report early.

Yes. If the owner receives payment directly from your business, the State of Idaho's Unclaimed Property Office will reimburse you. You must send a written request for reimbursement on your company's letterhead, a copy of your photo identification along with proof that the owner has received the property, such as a photocopy of the canceled check from your bank statement.

Yes. Interest is assessed at a rate of 12% per year on the value of the property from the date the property should have been paid or delivered to the state. Failure to pay or deliver property within the prescribed time may be assessed a penalty on the value of the property from the date the property should have been paid or delivered to the state until actual delivery is made.

Heir Finder / Fee Finder

An heir finder is a company or individual who can assist the owner of unclaimed property with locating and claiming funds. Heir finders charge a fee, usually a percentage of the value of the property recovered, for their assistance. The State of Idaho's Unclaimed Property Office provides this service free of charge.

Yes, under Idaho's Unclaimed Property Law, no person or company is entitled to a fee for discovering abandoned property until it has been in the custody of the state for at least two years. Idaho does not have any special licensing requirements for heir finders.

We highly recommend you use our FREE service to locate unclaimed property. An heir finder is an individual or company that can assist the owner of unclaimed property with locating and claiming funds. Heir finders charge a fee, usually a percentage of the value of the property recovered, for their assistance. The State of Idaho’s Unclaimed Property Office provides this service free of charge.

Some states have passed legislation that regulates the activities of heir finders. These states may require the finder to have a private detective’s license and/or may limit the percentage that they are able to charge.
Idaho does not currently regulate finders or limit their fees, but if the funds have been held by the state for less than two years, the finder’s contract is unenforceable and the total amount will be remitted directly to the owner.