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Keep Your Stock Account Active


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. 

Escheat Summary

  1. Important - Make sure your transfer agent has your current address!
  2. Set up on-line access to your accout at your transfer agent website
  3. Keep your account "active", do one of these things every two years:
  • Deposit dividend checks timely (even if small).
  • Vote your proxy (mail or web).
  • Write to your transfer agent (via letter, fax or email).
  • Call the transfer agent.
Helpful links:
-- Search your state's unclaimed property listing for your property.opens in a new tab
-- Computershare escheat infoopens in a new tab