Abandoned Property


Abandoned Property
Assets such as cash, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, uncashed checks, land, life insurance policies and the contents of safe deposit boxes that have been turned over to the state after several years of inactivity. Some states hold onto such property and allow the original owners and heirs to claim it indefinitely. In other states, if the property goes unclaimed for too long, it may become the state’s property through a process known as escheatment. One purpose of abandoned property laws is to relieve the asset holder of liability.

In the United States, state laws determine when an asset is legally considered abandoned. In Massachusetts, for example, a bank account that has seen no activity for more than three years will be turned over to the state, but owners can file a claim to collect their abandoned property at any time. To locate abandoned property, also called unclaimed property, individuals can do a free search through state-sponsored websites or they can contact the state treasury or comptroller’s office. States may also try to locate owners of unclaimed property through letters and newspaper announcements.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • abandoned property — see property Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. abandoned property …   Law dictionary

  • abandoned property — Property over which the owner has given up dominion and control with no intention of recovering it. Abandoned property in a legal sense is that to which owner has relinquished all right, title, claim, and possession, but without vesting it in any …   Black's law dictionary

  • abandoned property — Property to which an owner has voluntarily relinquished all right, title, claim and possession with the intention of terminating his ownership, but without vesting it in any other person and with the intention of not reclaiming future possession… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • abandoned property — noun Property that is found in such a state as to make it likely that the original owner has intentionally given up all dominion and control over the property, with no intent of returning to or recovering the property. See Also: lost property,… …   Wiktionary

  • abandoned property — discarded possessions, forsaken property, deserted property …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Lost, mislaid, and abandoned property — Property law Part of t …   Wikipedia

  • Stop Wasting Abandoned Property — SWAP inc. ( Stop Wasting Abandoned Property ) is a non profit community development organization that renovates houses for low income families and individuals based out of Providence, Rhode Island. The SWAP program is an affordable alternative… …   Wikipedia

  • property — prop·er·ty n pl ties [Anglo French propreté proprieté, from Latin proprietat proprietas, from proprius own, particular] 1: something (as an interest, money, or land) that is owned or possessed see also asset, estate, interest …   Law dictionary

  • abandoned — I adjective castaway, castoff, derelict, deserted, discontinued, disregarded, disused, forsaken, ignored, neglected, obsolete, occupantless, out of use, slighted, tenantless, unattended to, uncared for, uninhabited, unoccupied, unpopulated,… …   Law dictionary

  • property of the estate — USA property of the estate, Also known as estate property. All tangible and intangible assets owned by a debtor at the commencement of a bankruptcy proceeding including intellectual property rights, tax attributes, stock options and causes of… …   Law dictionary


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