Wisconsin serves as the custodian of unclaimed money wisconsin funds and property that have gone unclaimed, returning it only when proof is presented that verifies ownership rights are present.

In 2022, Wisconsin returned over $6.6 million worth of unclaimed property to 23,000 claimants – of whom 335 could claim property worth more than $2,000. According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, 325 claimed property worth over $2,000 that they could claim as theirs.

Last year, there was still over $600 million of unclaimed money in Wisconsin.

Here’s how you can verify if any of it belongs to you and how to get it back.

Wisconsin unclaimed funds
Wisconsin unclaimed funds

What constitute unclaimed funds or property?

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue defines unclaimed property as any financial asset that has not seen owner activity for one or more years and the holder cannot reach them to claim them.

These include savings accounts, checking accounts, uncashed dividends from stocks and mutual funds, customer deposits or overpayments as well as customer overpayments.

Certificates of deposit, Credit balances and Matured life insurance policies.

Uncashed death benefit checks (UNcashed checks ).

The Unclaimed Property Law requires utility deposits, uncollected wages and assets left behind from business closure to be reported as unclaimed after one year of inactivity; however this law does not include real estate assets.

Banks, credit unions, insurance companies and other businesses must report unclaimed property to DOR by November 1 each year.

How can I determine whether I have unclaimed funds or property in Wisconsin?

Visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s Unclaimed Property page and click on the “Search & Claim” box. There, enter your name or business name into the box to determine whether any unclaimed assets belong to you or your organization.

MissingMoney.com also allows users to search for unclaimed funds both inside and outside Wisconsin on its national database.

How much unclaimed money exists in Wisconsin?

Last year, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue revealed there is over $600 million left unclaimed by “many thousands of potential claimants.”

In 2022, the DOR distributed more than $6.6 million worth of unclaimed property to nearly 23,000 claimants.

Who can claim Wisconsin’s unclaimed funds?

Claiming funds and property that belong to you can be done easily by filing a claim in your name.

Property that was owned by a business or nonprofit can also be claimed, provided you possess the appropriate paperwork proving you have authority to claim it from them (whether active, defunct, successor).

With the necessary paperwork in hand, you can claim funds or property on behalf of minors or adults for whom you serve as guardian, or on behalf of deceased individuals for whom you act as an heir or personal representative.

Discover more about the necessary paperwork and steps required for each process on the DOR website’s “Relationship Types and Documents Needed” page.

What documents are necessary for me to claim abandoned funds?

To claim property under your own name, it is necessary to:

Named on the property itself. For properties with multiple owners.

Provide proof of social security number.

Present an ID issued by the government and provide evidence of ownership to your claim.

Visit the Department of Revenue website’s “Relationship Types and Documents Needed” page for information and requirements regarding other claim types, such as those made against businesses or on behalf of minors or deceased people.

How long does it take to receive unclaimed money in Wisconsin?

According to DOR, claims are processed in order of receipt and can take from six to eight weeks to be assigned and up to 10 days for you to receive payment if approved.

If you would like to check on the status of a claim you submitted to DOR, simply use the “Check Claim Status” feature of their website. Simply enter your claim number or confirmation number along with zip code where the address of claimant appears on it and submit.

Arizona Central reporter Stacey Barchenger contributed significantly.