States can take your bank or stock account!
It's true, escheatment, as it's called, is the process of reverting ownership of property to the custody of the state. It's an old concept intended to make sure unclaimed, abandoned, or uninherited property passes to the custody of the state rather than staying in limbo or being pocketed by the financial institution.
The problem is that, nowadays, financially strapped states are getting much more aggressive (too aggessive in our opinion) in pursuing these accounts.
Recently many states have begun to require institutions like transfer agents and brokerages, to report property as abandoned based on “inactivity” in addition to, or instead of, being considered lost based on returned mail. The states generally define activity as the shareholder initiating some kind of direct contact, such as those shown in the yellow box.
The bottom line:
-- Keep your account active (see yellow box).
-- Know your states requirements
-- Periodically check your state's list of unclaimed property.
1) Important - Make sure your transfer agent has your current address!
2) Set up on-line access to your accout at your transfer agent website3) Keep your account from being deemed "inactive"
Below is an email from Computershare sent to Coca Cola shareholders in 2017 explaining escheatment. The important point apply to all stocks although your transfer agent may be different and you stock may not pay dividends.