- What is the definition of abandoned?
Property is abandoned when the owner does not make contact with the holder for a period of one to five years depending on the type of property. Stocks and other intangible interests in a business association are not abandoned if the holder has sent a statement or written communication to the owner and the statement is not returned to the holder as undeliverable.
- What is the definition of holder?
Any business, individual, government body, or other entity in possession or control of property belonging to another party until the property is transferred to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) as unclaimed property.
- What is the definition of activity?
Any action taken on property by the owner including making a deposit or withdrawal, negotiating a check, or a documented communication by the owner to the holder.
- What is the definition of aggregate amount?
The amount below which the holder need not perform due diligence and attempt to contact the owner prior to reporting funds as unclaimed property. The aggregate amount in Wisconsin is $50.
- What is the definition of custodian?
An individual or entity that holds property until it is delivered to the rightful owner. Most states' laws make the state the "custodian" of abandoned property.
- What is the definition of date of last activity?
The date of the owner's last activity related to the property or the owner's contact with the holder.
- What is the definition of due diligence?
The required effort a holder of abandoned property must use to find the rightful owner of that property before it is turned over to the state.
- What is the definition of escheat period?
The period of time required by the applicable state law that must elapse before the property is presumed to be abandoned and turned over to the state. For example, the "escheat period" for miscellaneous intangible personal property is usually five years after it became payable or distributable. The "escheat period" is also referred to as the "holding period" or "dormancy period."
- What is the definition of financial institution?
Any savings and loan association, building and loan association, credit union (cooperative bank), or investment company.
- What is the definition of indemnification?
An agreement that protects the holder from loss by transferring the legal responsibilities for the unclaimed property to a third party, such as the state.
- What is the definition of intangible property?
The following are considered intangible property:
Monies, checks, drafts, deposits, interest, dividends, and income; Credit balances, customer overpayments, gift certificates; Security deposits, refunds, credit memos, unpaid wages, un-used airline tickets, and unidentified remittances; Stocks and other intangible ownership interests in business associations; Monies deposited to redeem stocks, bonds, coupons, and other securities, or to make distributions; Amounts due and payable under the terms of insurance policies; Amounts distributable from a trust or custodial fund established under a plan to provide health, welfare, pension, vacation, severance, retirement, death, stock purchase, profit sharing, employee savings, supplemental unemployment insurance, or similar benefits.
- What is the definition of report?
A list of owners and the value of their unclaimed properties that is filed with the department annually.
- What is the definition of owner?
A person having a legal or equitable claim to the abandoned property.
- What is the definition of tangible personal property?
Physical property, such as jewelry, gold and silver coins and other collectibles typically kept in safe deposit boxes.
- What is the definition of underlying shares?
Shares of stock that have been issued by a business association or a financial institution. The original certificates for the shares are in the possession of the shareholders, who didn't cash the dividend checks or correspond with the issuing corporation.
FOR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS CONTACT:
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
PO Box 8982
Madison, WI 53708-8982
Phone: (608) 264-4594
Email additional questions to