Did you know that Wisconsin may hold some money that belongs to you?
Uncover funds you might have forgotten about. That could include uncashed checks from years past or funds belonging to deceased relatives that you could claim from.
Wisconsin acts as a repository for funds and property belonging to those who remain unclaimed, returning them back to those with proper documentation proving they have claim over them. Unfortunately, however, some assets could be at risk due to errors and inefficiencies within Wisconsin’s unclaimed property program that lead to losses of money due to errors and inefficiency in managing unclaimed property claims. A recent audit uncovered this trend; Wisconsin lost money as a result.
In 2022, Wisconsin returned over $6.6 million worth of unclaimed property to over 23,000 claimants – with 329 of these claimants having property worth more than $2,000 to claim according to the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
As of last year, over $600 million remains unclaimed in Wisconsin.
Here’s how to check if any of it belongs to you and return it.
What constitutes unclaimed funds or property?
Wisconsin holds unclaimed funds and property belonging to millions of individuals who have misplaced it or gone into arrears with payments or assets they once held, but have lost track of. According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, unclaimed property refers to any financial asset which has not had activity within 12 months and where no contact can be established between asset holder and owner; these include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, insurance policies, utility deposits and more.
These assets include savings accounts, checking accounts, uncashed dividends from stocks or mutual funds, customer deposits or overpayments as well as customer deposits or overpayments.
Certificates of Deposit, Credit Balance Refunds and Mature Life Insurance Policies are among the many available investments for purchase or redemption. Uncashed death benefit checks
The Unclaimed Property Law requires utility deposits, uncollected wages and property left over from business closure to be reported as unclaimed after one year of inactivity; this law does not include real estate.
Banks, credit unions, insurance companies and other businesses must report unclaimed property to DOR annually by November 1.
How can I identify unclaimed funds or property in Wisconsin?
Please visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s “Unclaimed Property” page and click on “Search & Claim”. There, enter your name or business name into the “Search & Claim” box to determine if any unclaimed properties exist for you or your company.
Search MissingMoney.com’s national database to locate funds both inside and outside Wisconsin that have gone unclaimed.
How much unclaimed money exists in Wisconsin?
Last year, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue estimated that more than $600 million remains unclaimed by thousands of potential claimants in Wisconsin.
In 2022, the DOR delivered more than $6.6 million worth of unclaimed property to over 23,000 claimants.
Who can claim Wisconsin’s unclaimed funds?
Claim funds and property that was legally yours but are currently held under another’s name.
Claim property that belonged to a business or nonprofit as long as you can show proof that you have the authority to claim it from either active, dissolved, or successor businesses.
With the necessary paperwork in hand, you can also claim funds or property on behalf of minors or adults for whom you serve as guardian, as well as deceased individuals whose estate you represent as their heir or personal representative.
Find more details regarding the paperwork and steps needed for these processes on the DOR website’s “Relationship Types and Documents Needed” page.
What evidence will I need to claim abandoned funds?
To claim property under your own name, it is necessary to:
Property ownership should remain unchanged even for properties with multiple owners.
Provide proof of social security number.
Present your government ID and proof of address associated with the property being claimed.
Visit the DOR website’s “Relationship Types and Documents Needed” page for information and requirements for other claim types, such as funding a business or seeking funds on behalf of a minor or deceased individual.
How long will it take to recover unclaimed funds in Wisconsin?
According to DOR, claims are processed in order of receipt and typically take six to eight weeks before being assigned a number and approved. Once your claim has been approved, payment typically arrives seven-10 days later.
If you want to track the status of a claim you’ve submitted, visit the DOR website and use their “Check Claim Status” feature. When doing so, enter both your claim number/confirmation number as well as their zip code of where the claimant resides in order to do so.