Each year, Oregon’s Department of State Lands (DSL) is the recipient of unclaimed property valued in excess of $50 million. Might any of that belong to you?
“Unclaimed property” finds its way to DSL from a variety of sources. For example, let’s say your Uncle Fester dies and his will bequeaths his 100 shares of stock in Acme Inc. to his nephew Pugsley. If Pugsley cannot be found, or is found but for some reason refuses the gift, the shares will be delivered to DSL.
Another example, assume Gomez Adams leased a safe deposit box at First Bank but the lease expired more than two years ago. The contents of the box are then presumed by law to have been abandoned and go to, you guessed it, DSL. Apparently, this happens more often than you might think. This past May, DSL auctioned the contents of safe deposit boxes it was holding; the auction grossed nearly $300,000.00.
So, you may wonder, how much unclaimed property does the State hold and what does it do with it? The unclaimed property ultimately resides “forever” in the State of Oregon’s Common School Fund. We are not talking chump change here; the value of the fund fluctuates with changing market conditions but as of 2016 the Fund’s value exceeded $1.4 billion. Interest earned by the Fund is disbursed annually to Oregon’s K-12 public school districts. Distributions in the 2016-2017 biennium are estimated to exceed $135 million.
If your curiosity is stoked, and you would like to see if any of that money is yours, you can begin your search by going to DSL’s website and clicking on “unclaimed property name search”. If DSL records do show you as an owner of unclaimed property, you will be able to file a claim and recover the property.
‘Lest you think the State is unlikely to part with what is yours, be at ease. Each year the State returns approximately $15 million in property to owners.
© 11/4/2016 Charles A. Ford of Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.