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Unclaimed Property Rules and Time Limits for Kentucky

Filed under Basic Accounting. Fact checked on May 24, 2012.

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Learn the unclaimed property rules and their time limits for the state of Kentucky.

In Kentucky, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Unclaimed Property Division of the Kentucky Department of Treasury.

  • As a business owner, this will be the agency to contact if you possess unclaimed property (unpaid wages, for example). Remember that you are subject to both reporting requirements and the obligation to turn over abandoned property to the state.
  • It is also the point of contact if you believe that you may have knowingly, or unknowingly, abandoned property (for example, failing to get back a security deposit, didn't receive a tax refund).

Kentucky businesses have a number of responsibilities concerning unclaimed property. Initially, written notice must be sent to the apparent owner of the unclaimed property, if known. If the property remains unclaimed, businesses have a number of filing and reporting requirements to fulfill. Most importantly, businesses are required to turn over any and all unclaimed property to the state. Stiff penalties apply to businesses who fail to comply with any of these requirements.

Individuals should know that Kentucky property is generally presumed abandoned two to 15 years after a period of inactivity of the owner of the property. However, this time limit varies depending on the type of property involved. Once abandoned property is turned over to the state by a business, an individual then has the burden of reclaiming it from the state.

Reporting Unclaimed Property in Kentucky

Businesses must generally report all unclaimed property to the Kentucky Department of Treasury (except for wages less than $50). The report includes the following information:

  • if known, the name and last known address of the owner of any property, other than traveler's checks and money orders, valued at $100 or more;
  • in the case of life insurance corporations, the full name of the insured or annuitant and the last known address appearing on the corporation's records;
  • a description of the property, including any identifying number, and the amount due, with items valued under $100 reported in the aggregate;
  • the date the property became payable, demandable, or returnable, except for property reported in the aggregate;
  • the date of the last transaction with the owner with respect to the property, if known; and
  • any other information prescribed by the Department.

Prior notice to owner. The holder of presumed abandoned property must send written notice to the apparent owner of property valued at more than $100. The notice must be sent to the owner's last known address within 60 to 120 days before filing the report to the state.

Delivery. a holder delivers reported unclaimed property to the Department by November 1. The holder does not deliver property that is claimed or in litigation, but reports the fact to the Department.

Recordkeeping. A business must generally maintain related records five years after the unclaimed property becomes reportable.

Penalties. A holder that fails to file a report is liable for a penalty of $50 to $200, imprisonment for 30 days to six months, or both. If the Department is required to take civil action to enforce the production of reports or the surrender of property, the holder pays a penalty of 10 percent of the amount required to surrender up to a maximum of $500.

Claiming Unclaimed Property in Kentucky

In Kentucky, property is generally presumed abandoned two to 15 years after a period of inactivity of the owner of the property. However, this time limit varies depending on the type of property involved. Once abandoned property is turned over to the state by a business, an individual then has the burden of reclaiming it from the state.

Locating abandoned property held by the state. The Kentucky Department of Treasury must publish an annual advertisement listing the names of persons included in unclaimed property reports submitted by businesses. The list must be published by October 1 of the year when it is made, and the publication constitutes constructive notice to all interested parties. In addition, the Department makes various other outreach efforts, held at places like fairs, state conventions, and malls, to help locate owners.

Unclaimed property held by the state may also be found by searching the state's website.

To find out if other states may be holding your unclaimed property, search the national database established by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA).

Filing a claim. A person claiming an interest in property of a decedent delivered to the state who never was served notice may file a claim to the property with the Department within five years. A person claiming an interest in property that was presumed abandoned may file a claim to the property at any time after it was paid to the state. Any person under disability has five years after the disability is removed in which to take action or make a defense.

In typical bureaucratic fashion, any person claiming an interest in any unclaimed property held by the state must fill out a form to request an official claim form. Please note that this form is only available by calling 1-800-465-4722 or by submitting an Unclaimed Property Claim Form Request.

The Department considers the claim and renders a written decision that includes the evidence submitted for consideration. A person dissatisfied with the Department's decision or whose claim has not been acted upon within 90 days after its filing may request in writing an administrative hearing.

Kentucky Unclaimed Property Resources

If you're looking for additional information on unclaimed property, we recommend contacting your state's governmental agency that oversees the administration of this area of the law. For help in answering a specific unclaimed property question in Kentucky, contact the following:

Unclaimed Property Division
Kentucky Department of Treasury
Suite 183, Capitol Annex
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 1-800-465-4722
Fax: (502) 564-4200

Kentucky Abandoned Property Time Limits

Property Type Presumed Abandoned After
Bank account deposits: three years
Checks or drafts three years
Demutualization proceeds three years
Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos no specific provision
Insurance policies Life insurance policies: three years
IRAs or retirement funds no specific provision
Money orders three years
Other intangible personal property not otherwise specified
Proceeds from class action suits no specific provision
Property distributable by a business association in the course of dissolution no specific provision
Property held by courts or public agencies courts or the federal government: five years
Property held by fiduciaries three years
Safe deposit boxes three years
Shares in a financial institution no specific provision
Stocks, dividends, and distributions three years
Traveler's checks 15 years
Deposits and advances owed utility company customer refunds: three years
Wages or salaries no specific provision

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