Washington Disposition of Unclaimed Property Law


Washington Law Summary
Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of abandoned property law, but does include basic provisions.  You should check the State Laws for updates.

Revised Code of Washington
Title 63 PERSONAL PROPERTY
Chapter 63.24 – UNCLAIMED PROPERTY IN HANDS OF BAILEE

Notice to owner.
Unless otherwise provided between the parties, if personal property deposited with a bailee is unclaimed for a period of thirty days, the bailee shall notify the owner, if known, either personally or by mail that the property is subject to disposition under RCW 63.24.160.
Title 63, Chap. 63.24, RCW 63.24.150

Disposition of unclaimed property — Donation to charitable organization or transmittal to police or sheriff.
If property not covered by chapter 63.26 RCW remains unclaimed sixty days after notice is given, or, if the owner’s identity or address is unknown, sixty days from when notice was attempted, the bailee shall:

(1) If the reasonable aggregate value of the unclaimed property is less than one hundred dollars, donate the property, or proceeds thereof, to a charitable organization exempt from federal income tax under the federal internal revenue code; or

(2) If the reasonable aggregate value of the unclaimed property is one hundred dollars or more, forward the property to the chief of police or sheriff for disposition as unclaimed property under chapter 63.32 or 63.40 RCW.

Title 63, Chap. 63.24, RCW 63.24.160

Bailee not liable to owner — Reimbursed for reasonable costs.
A bailee is not liable to the owner for unclaimed property disposed of in good faith in accordance with the requirements of this chapter. A bailee shall be reimbursed from the proceeds of sale of any unclaimed property disposed of under RCW 63.24.160 for the reasonable costs or charges for any goods or services provided by the bailee regarding the property, and for the costs to provide notice to the owner.

Title 63, Chap. 63.24, RCW 63.24.170

Chapter 63.26 RCW
UNCLAIMED PROPERTY HELD BY MUSEUM OR HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Definitions.
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

(1) “Museum or historical society” means an institution operated by a nonprofit corporation, nonprofit association, or public agency, primarily educational, scientific, historic, or aesthetic in purpose, which owns, borrows, studies, or cares for tangible objects, including archives, and exhibits them as appropriate.

(2) “Property” includes all documents and tangible objects, animate and inanimate, under the care of a museum or historical society which have intrinsic scientific, historic, artistic, or cultural value.

Title 63, Chap. 63.26, RCW 63.26.010

Abandoned property — Notice.
Any property held by a museum or historical society within the state, other than by terms of a loan agreement, that has been held for five years or more and has remained unclaimed shall be deemed to be abandoned. Such property shall become the property of the museum or historical society if the museum or society has given notice pursuant to RCW 63.26.040 and no assertion of title has been filed for the property within ninety days from the date of the second published notice.

Title 63, Chap. 63.26, RCW 63.26.020

Loaned property deemed donated — Notice of owner’s change of address — Notice of provisions of chapter.

(1) Property subject to a loan agreement which is on loan to a museum or historical society shall be deemed to be donated to the museum or society if no claim is made or action filed to recover the property after termination or expiration of the loan and if the museum or society has given notice pursuant to RCW 63.26.040 and no assertion of title has been filed within ninety days from the date of the second published notice.

(2) A museum or society may terminate a loan of property if the property was loaned to the museum or society for an indefinite term and the property has been held by the museum or society for five years or more. Property on “permanent loan” shall be deemed to be loaned for an indefinite term.

(3) If property was loaned to the museum or society for a specified term, the museum or society may give notice of termination of the loan at any time after expiration of the specified term.

(4) It is the responsibility of the owner of property on loan to a museum or society to notify the museum or society promptly in writing of any change of address or change in ownership of the property.

(5) When a museum or society accepts a loan of property, the museum or society shall inform the owner in writing of the provisions of this chapter.

Title 63, Chap. 63.26, RCW 63.26.030

Notice of abandonment of property.

(1) When a museum or historical society is required to give notice of abandonment of property or of termination of a loan, the museum or historical society shall mail such notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known owner at the most recent address of such owner as shown on the museum’s or society’s records. If the museum or society has no address on record, or the museum or society does not receive written proof of receipt of the mailed notice within thirty days of the date the notice was mailed, the museum or society shall publish notice, at least once each week for two consecutive weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation in both the county in which the museum is located and the county in which the last known address, if available, of the owner is located.

(2) The published notice shall contain:

(a) A description of the unclaimed property;

(b) The name and last known address of the owner;

(c) A request that all persons who may have any knowledge of the whereabouts of the owner provide written notice to the museum or society; and

(d) A statement that if written assertion of title is not presented by the owner to the museum or society within ninety days from the date of the second published notice, the property shall be deemed abandoned or donated and shall become the property of the museum or society.

(3) For purposes of this chapter, if the loan of property was made to a branch of a museum or society, the museum or society is deemed to be located in the county in which the branch is located. Otherwise the museum or society is located in the county in which it has its principal place of business.

Title 63, Chap. 63.26, RCW 63.26.040

Vesting of title in museum or historical society — Subsequent purchase from museum or historical society.

(1) If no written assertion of title has been presented by the owner to the museum or society within ninety days from the date of the second published notice, title to the property shall vest in the museum or historical society, free of all claims of the owner and of all persons claiming under the owner.

(2) One who purchases or otherwise acquires property from a museum or historical society acquires good title to the property if the museum or society has acquired title to the property under this chapter.

Title 63, Chap. 63.26, RCW 63.26.050

Chapter 63.29 RCW – UNIFORM UNCLAIMED PROPERTY ACT

Definitions and use of terms.
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Department” means the department of revenue established under RCW 82.01.050.

(2) “Apparent owner” means the person whose name appears on the records of the holder as the person entitled to property held, issued, or owing by the holder.

(3) “Attorney general” means the chief legal officer of this state referred to in chapter 43.10 RCW.

(4) “Banking organization” means a bank, trust company, savings bank, land bank, safe deposit company, private banker, or any organization defined by other law as a bank or banking organization.

(5) “Business association” means a nonpublic corporation, joint stock company, investment company, business trust, partnership, or association for business purposes of two or more individuals, whether or not for profit, including a banking organization, financial organization, insurance company, or utility.

(6) “Domicile” means the state of incorporation of a corporation and the state of the principal place of business of an unincorporated person.

(7) “Financial organization” means a savings and loan association, cooperative bank, building and loan association, or credit union.

(8) “Holder” means a person, wherever organized or domiciled, who is:

(a) In possession of property belonging to another,

(b) A trustee, or

(c) Indebted to another on an obligation.

(9) “Insurance company” means an association, corporation, fraternal or mutual benefit organization, whether or not for profit, which is engaged in providing insurance coverage, including accident, burial, casualty, credit life, contract performance, dental, fidelity, fire, health, hospitalization, illness, life (including endowments and annuities), malpractice, marine, mortgage, surety, and wage protection insurance.

(10) “Intangible property” does not include contract claims which are unliquidated but does include:

(a) Moneys, checks, drafts, deposits, interest, dividends, and income;

(b) Credit balances, customer overpayments, gift certificates, security deposits, refunds, credit memos, unpaid wages, unused airline tickets, and unidentified remittances, but does not include discounts which represent credit balances for which no consideration was given;

(c) Stocks, and other intangible ownership interests in business associations;

(d) Moneys deposited to redeem stocks, bonds, coupons, and other securities, or to make distributions;

(e) Liquidated amounts due and payable under the terms of insurance policies; and

(f) Amounts distributable from a trust or custodial fund established under a plan to provide health, welfare, pension, vacation, severance, retirement, death, stock purchase, profit sharing, employee savings, supplemental unemployment insurance, or similar benefits.

(11) “Last known address” means a description of the location of the apparent owner sufficient for the purpose of the delivery of mail.

(12) “Owner” means a depositor in the case of a deposit, a beneficiary in case of a trust other than a deposit in trust, a creditor, claimant, or payee in the case of other intangible property, or a person having a legal or equitable interest in property subject to this chapter or his legal representative.

(13) “Person” means an individual, business association, state or other government, governmental subdivision or agency, public corporation, public authority, estate, trust, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(14) “State” means any state, district, commonwealth, territory, insular possession, or any other area subject to the legislative authority of the United States.

(15) “Third party bank check” means any instrument drawn against a customer’s account with a banking organization or financial organization on which the banking organization or financial organization is only secondarily liable.

(16) “Utility” means a person who owns or operates for public use any plant, equipment, property, franchise, or license for the transmission of communications or the production, storage, transmission, sale, delivery, or furnishing of electricity, water, steam, or gas.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29, RCW 63.29.010

Property presumed abandoned — General rule.

(1) Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, all intangible property, including any income or increment derived therefrom, less any lawful charges, that is held, issued, or owing in the ordinary course of the holder’s business and has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it became payable or distributable is presumed abandoned.

(2) Property, with the exception of unredeemed Washington state lottery tickets and unpresented winning parimutuel tickets, is payable and distributable for the purpose of this chapter notwithstanding the owner’s failure to make demand or to present any instrument or document required to receive payment.

(3) This chapter does not apply to claims drafts issued by insurance companies representing offers to settle claims unliquidated in amount or settled by subsequent drafts or other means.

(4) This chapter does not apply to property covered by chapter 63.26 RCW.

(5) This chapter does not apply to used clothing, umbrellas, bags, luggage, or other used personal effects if such property is disposed of by the holder as follows:

(a) In the case of personal effects of negligible value, the property is destroyed; or

(b) The property is donated to a bona fide charity.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.020

General rules for taking custody of intangible unclaimed property.
Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by other statute of this state, intangible property is subject to the custody of this state as unclaimed property if the conditions raising a presumption of abandonment under RCW 63.29.020 and 63.29.050 through 63.29.160 are satisfied and:

(1) The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in this state;

(2) The records of the holder do not reflect the identity of the person entitled to the property and it is established that the last known address of the person entitled to the property is in this state;

(3) The records of the holder do not reflect the last known address of the apparent owner, and it is established that:

(a) The last known address of the person entitled to the property is in this state, or

(b) The holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this state and has not previously paid or delivered the property to the state of the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property;

(4) The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this state:

PROVIDED, That a holder may rely, with acquittance, upon a list of such states which shall be provided by the department;

(5) The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in a foreign nation and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this state; or

(6) The transaction out of which the property arose occurred in this state; and

(a)

(i) The last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is unknown, or

(ii) The last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is in a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property: PROVIDED, That a holder may rely, with acquittance, upon a list of such states which shall be provided by the department, and

(b) The holder is a domiciliary of a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property.Title 63, Chap. 63.29RCW 63.29.030

Property presumed abandoned — State or subdivision is originator or issuer.

(1) All intangible property, including but not limited to securities, principal, interest, dividends, or other earnings thereon, less any lawful charges, held by a business association, federal, state or local government or governmental subdivision, agency or entity, or any other person or entity, regardless of where the holder may be found, if the owner has not claimed such property or corresponded in writing with the holder concerning the property within three years after the date prescribed for payment or delivery by the issuer, unless the holder is a state that has taken custody pursuant to its own unclaimed property laws, in which case no additional period of holding beyond that of such state is necessary hereunder is presumed abandoned and subject to the custody of the state of Washington as unclaimed property if:

(a) The last known address of the owner is unknown; and

(b) The person or entity originating or issuing the intangible property is the state of Washington or any political subdivision of the state of Washington, or is incorporated, organized, created, or otherwise located in the state of Washington.

(2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to property that is or may be presumed abandoned and subject to the custody of the state of Washington pursuant to any other provision of law containing a dormancy period different than that prescribed in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall apply to all property held on June 11, 1992, or at any time thereafter, regardless of when the property became or becomes presumptively abandoned.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29RCW 63.29.033

Travelers checks and money orders.

(1) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, any sum payable on a travelers check that has been outstanding for more than fifteen years after its issuance is presumed abandoned unless the owner, within fifteen years, has communicated in writing with the issuer concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the issuer.

(2) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, any sum payable on a money order or similar written instrument, other than a third party bank check, that has been outstanding for more than five years after its issuance is presumed abandoned unless the owner, within five years, has communicated in writing with the issuer concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the issuer.

(3) A holder may not deduct from the amount of a travelers check or money order any charge imposed by reason of the failure to present the instrument for payment unless there is a valid and enforceable written contract between the issuer and the owner of the instrument pursuant to which the issuer may impose a charge and the issuer regularly imposes such charges and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel them.

(4) No sum payable on a travelers check, money order, or similar written instrument, other than a third party bank check, described in subsections (1) and (2) of this section may be subjected to the custody of this state as unclaimed property unless:

(a) The records of the issuer show that the travelers check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased in this state;

(b) The issuer has its principal place of business in this state and the records of the issuer do not show the state in which the travelers check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased; or

(c) The issuer has its principal place of business in this state, the records of the issuer show the state in which the travelers check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased and the laws of the state of purchase do not provide for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property. The department shall provide to the issuer a list of all such states and the issuer may rely with acquittance upon such list.

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, subsection (4) of this section applies to sums payable on travelers checks, money orders, and similar written instruments presumed abandoned on or after February 1, 1965, except to the extent that those sums have been paid over to a state.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29RCW 63.29.040

Checks, drafts, and similar instruments issued or certified by banking and financial organizations.

(1) Any sum payable on a check, draft, or similar instrument, except those subject to RCW 63.29.040, on which a banking or financial organization is directly liable, including a cashier’s check and a certified check, which has been outstanding for more than five years after it was payable or after its issuance if payable on demand, is presumed abandoned, unless the owner, within five years, has communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee thereof.

(2) A holder may not deduct from the amount of any instrument subject to this section any charge imposed by reason of the failure to present the instrument for payment unless there is a valid and enforceable written contract between the holder and the owner of the instrument pursuant to which the holder may impose a charge, and the holder regularly imposes such charges and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel them.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29RCW 63.29.050

Bank deposits and funds in financial organizations.

(1) Any demand, savings, or matured time deposit with a banking or financial organization, including a deposit that is automatically renewable, and any funds paid toward the purchase of a share, a mutual investment certificate, or any other interest in a banking or financial organization is presumed abandoned unless the owner, within five years, has:

(a) In the case of a deposit, increased or decreased its amount or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the deposit for the crediting of interest;

(b) Communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization concerning the property;

(c) Otherwise indicated an interest in the property as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the banking or financial organization;

(d) Owned other property to which subsection (1)(a), (b), or (c) of this section applies and if the banking or financial organization communicates in writing with the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be presumed abandoned under this subsection at the address to which communications regarding the other property regularly are sent; or

(e) Had another relationship with the banking or financial organization concerning which the owner has:

(i) In the case of a deposit, increased or decreased the amount of the deposit or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the deposit for the crediting of interest;

(ii) Communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization; or

(iii) Otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the banking or financial organization and if the banking or financial organization communicates in writing with the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be abandoned under this subsection at the address to which communications regarding the other relationship regularly are sent.

(2) For purposes of subsection (1) of this section property includes interest and dividends.

(3) This chapter shall not apply to deposits made by a guardian or decedent’s personal representative with a banking organization when the deposit is subject to withdrawal only upon the order of the court in the guardianship or estate proceeding.

(4) A holder may not impose with respect to property described in subsection (1) of this section any charge due to dormancy or inactivity or cease payment of interest unless:

(a) There is an enforceable written contract between the holder and the owner of the property pursuant to which the holder may impose a charge or cease payment of interest;

(b) For property in excess of ten dollars, the holder, no more than three months before the initial imposition of those charges or cessation of interest, has given written notice to the owner of the amount of those charges at the last known address of the owner stating that those charges will be imposed or that interest will cease, but the notice provided in this section need not be given with respect to charges imposed or interest ceased before June 30, 1983; and

(c) The holder regularly imposes such charges or ceases payment of interest and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel them or retroactively credit interest with respect to the property.

(5) Any property described in subsection (1) of this section that is automatically renewable is matured for purposes of subsection (1) of this section upon the expiration of its initial time period, or after one year if the initial period is less than one year, but in the case of any renewal to which the owner consents at or about the time of renewal by communicating in writing with the banking or financial organization or otherwise indicating consent as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the organization, the property is matured upon the expiration of the last time period for which consent was given. If, at the time provided for delivery in RCW 63.29.190, a penalty or forfeiture in the payment of interest would result from the delivery of the property, the time for delivery is extended until the time when no penalty or forfeiture would result.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.060

Funds owing under life insurance policies.

(1) Funds held or owing under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract that has matured or terminated are presumed abandoned if unclaimed for more than five years after the funds became due and payable as established from the records of the insurance company holding or owing the funds, but property described in subsection (3)(b) of this section is presumed abandoned if unclaimed for more than two years.

(2) If a person other than the insured or annuitant is entitled to the funds and an address of the person is not known to the company or it is not definite and certain from the records of the company who is entitled to the funds, it is presumed that the last known address of the person entitled to the funds is the same as the last known address of the insured or annuitant according to the records of the company.

(3) For purposes of this chapter, a life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract not matured by actual proof of the death of the insured or annuitant according to the records of the company is matured and the proceeds due and payable if:

(a) The company knows that the insured or annuitant has died; or

(b)

(i) The insured has attained, or would have attained if he were living, the limiting age under the mortality table on which the reserve is based;

(ii) The policy was in force at the time the insured attained, or would have attained, the limiting age specified in subparagraph (i) of this subsection; and

(iii) Neither the insured nor any other person appearing to have an interest in the policy within the preceding two years, according to the records of the company, has assigned, readjusted, or paid premiums on the policy, subjected the policy to a loan, corresponded in writing with the company concerning the policy, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the company.

(4) For purposes of this chapter, the application of an automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture provision contained in an insurance policy does not prevent a policy from being matured or terminated under subsection (1) of this section if the insured has died or the insured or the beneficiaries of the policy otherwise have become entitled to the proceeds thereof before the depletion of the cash surrender value of a policy by the application of those provisions.

(5) If the laws of this state or the terms of the life insurance policy require the company to give notice to the insured or owner that an automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture provision has been exercised and the notice, given to an insured or owner whose last known address according to the records of the company is in this state, is undeliverable, the company shall make a reasonable search to ascertain the policyholder’s correct address to which the notice must be mailed.

(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the company learns of the death of the insured or annuitant and the beneficiary has not communicated with the insurer within four months after the death, the company shall take reasonable steps to pay the proceeds to the beneficiary.

(7) Commencing two years after June 30, 1983, every change of beneficiary form issued by an insurance company under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract to an insured or owner who is a resident of this state must request the following information:

(a) The name of each beneficiary, or if a class of beneficiaries is named, the name of each current beneficiary in the class;

(b) The address of each beneficiary; and

(c) The relationship of each beneficiary to the insured.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.070

Deposits held by utilities.

(1) A deposit, including any interest thereon, made by a subscriber with a utility to secure payment or any sum paid in advance for utility services to be furnished, less any lawful deductions, that remains unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after termination of the services for which the deposit or advance payment was made is presumed abandoned.

(2) Any sum which a utility has been ordered to refund and which was received for utility services rendered in this state, together with any interest thereon, less any lawful deductions, that has remained unclaimed by the person appearing on the records of the utility entitled thereto for more than one year after the date it became payable in accordance with the final determination or order providing for the refund is presumed abandoned.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.080

Refunds held by business associations.
Except to the extent otherwise ordered by the court or administrative agency, any sum that a business association has been ordered to refund by a court or administrative agency which has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after it became payable in accordance with the final determination or order providing for the refund, whether or not the final determination or order requires any person entitled to a refund to make a claim for it, is presumed abandoned.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.090

Stock and other intangible interests in business associations.

(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (5) of this section, stock or other intangible ownership interest in a business association, the existence of which is evidenced by records available to the association, is presumed abandoned and, with respect to the interest, the association is the holder, if a dividend, distribution, or other sum payable as a result of the interest has remained unclaimed by the owner for five years and the owner within five years has not:

(a) Communicated in writing with the association regarding the interest or a dividend, distribution, or other sum payable as a result of the interest; or

(b) Otherwise communicated with the association regarding the interest or a dividend, distribution, or other sum payable as a result of the interest, as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the association prepared by an employee of the association.

(2) At the expiration of a five-year period following the failure of the owner to claim a dividend, distribution, or other sum payable to the owner as a result of the interest, the interest is not presumed abandoned unless there have been at least five dividends, distributions, or other sums paid during the period, none of which has been claimed by the owner. If five dividends, distributions, or other sums are paid during the five-year period, the period leading to a presumption of abandonment commences on the date payment of the first such unclaimed dividend, distribution, or other sum became due and payable. If five dividends, distributions, or other sums are not paid during the presumptive period, the period continues to run until there have been five dividends, distributions, or other sums that have not been claimed by the owner.

(3) The running of the five-year period of abandonment ceases immediately upon the occurrence of a communication referred to in subsection (1) of this section. If any future dividend, distribution, or other sum payable to the owner as a result of the interest is subsequently not claimed by the owner, a new period of abandonment commences and relates back to the time a subsequent dividend, distribution, or other sum became due and payable.

(4) At the time any interest is presumed abandoned under this section, any dividend, distribution, or other sum then held for or owing to the owner as a result of the interest, and not previously presumed abandoned, is presumed abandoned.

(5) This chapter shall not apply to any stock or other intangible ownership interest enrolled in a plan that provides for the automatic reinvestment of dividends, distributions, or other sums payable as a result of the interest unless:

(a) The records available to the administrator of the plan show, with respect to any intangible ownership interest not enrolled in the reinvestment plan, that the owner has not within five years communicated in any manner described in subsection (1) of this section; or

(b) Five years have elapsed since the location of the owner became unknown to the association, as evidenced by the return of official shareholder notifications or communications by the postal service as undeliverable, and the owner has not within those five years communicated in any manner described in subsection (1) of this section. The five-year period from the return of official shareholder notifications or communications shall commence from the earlier of the return of the second such mailing or the date the holder discontinues mailings to the shareholder.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 – RCW 63.29.100

Property of business associations held in course of dissolution.
Intangible property distributable in the course of a dissolution of a business association which remains unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after the date specified for final distribution is presumed abandoned.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.110

Property held by agents and fiduciaries.

(1) Intangible property and any income or increment derived therefrom held in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of another person is presumed abandoned unless the owner, within five years after it has become payable or distributable, has increased or decreased the principal, accepted payment of principal or income, communicated concerning the property, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by the fiduciary.

(2) Funds in an individual retirement account or a retirement plan for self-employed individuals or similar account or plan established pursuant to the internal revenue laws of the United States are not payable or distributable within the meaning of subsection (1) of this section unless, under the terms of the account or plan, distribution of all or part of the funds would then be mandatory.

(3) For the purpose of this section, a person who holds property as an agent for a business association is deemed to hold the property in a fiduciary capacity for that business association alone, unless the agreement between him and the business association provides otherwise.

(4) For the purposes of this chapter, a person who is deemed to hold property in a fiduciary capacity for a business association alone is the holder of the property only insofar as the interest of the business association in the property is concerned, and the business association is the holder of the property insofar as the interest of any other person in the property is concerned.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.120

Property held by courts and public agencies.
Intangible property held for the owner by a court, state orother government, governmental subdivision or agency, public corporation, public authority, or the United States or any instrumentality of the United States that remains unclaimed by the owner for more than two years after becoming payable or distributable is presumed abandoned.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.130

Property held by landlord.
Intangible property held by a landlord as a result of asheriff’s sale pursuant to RCW 59.18.312 that remains unclaimed for a period of one year from the date of the sale is presumed abandoned.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.133

Abandoned intangible property held by local government.
A local government holding abandoned intangible property that is not forwarded to the department of revenue, as authorized under RCW 63.29.190, shall not be required to maintain current records of this property for longer than five years after the property is presumed to be abandoned, and at that time may archive records of this intangible property and transfer the intangible property to its general fund. However, the local government shall remain liable to pay the intangible property to a person or entity subsequently establishing its ownership of this intangible property.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.135

Gift certificates and credit memos.

(1) A gift certificate or a credit memo issued in the ordinary course of an issuer’s business which remains unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after becoming payable or distributable is presumed abandoned.

(2) In the case of a gift certificate, the amount presumed abandoned is the price paid by the purchaser for the gift certificate. In the case of a credit memo, the amount presumed abandoned is the amount credited to the recipient of the memo.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.140

Wages.
Unpaid wages, including wages represented by unpresented payroll checks, owing in the ordinary course of the holder’s business which remain unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after becoming payable are presumed abandoned.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.150

Contents of safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository.
All tangible and intangible property held in a safe deposit box or any other safekeeping repository in this state in the ordinary course of the holder’s business and proceeds resulting from the sale of the property permitted by other law, which remain unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after the lease or rental period on the box or other repository has expired, are presumed abandoned.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.160

Property in self-storage facility.
The excess proceeds of a sale conducted pursuant to RCW 19.150.080 by an owner of a self-service storage facility to satisfy the lien and costs of storage which are not claimed by the occupant of the storage space or any other person which remains unclaimed for more than six months are presumed abandoned.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.165

Report of abandoned property.

(1) A person holding property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property under this chapter shall report to the department concerning the property as provided in this section.

(2) The report must be verified and must include:

(a) Except with respect to travelers checks and money orders, the name, if known, and last known address, if any, of each person appearing from the records of the holder to be the owner of property of the value of twenty-five dollars or more presumed abandoned under this chapter;

(b) In the case of unclaimed funds of twenty-five dollars or more held or owing under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract, the full name and last known address of the insured or annuitant and of the beneficiary according to the records of the insurance company holding or owing the funds;

(c) In the case of the contents of a safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository or in the case of other tangible property, a description of the property and the place where it is held and where it may be inspected by the department, and any amounts owing to the holder;

(d) The nature and identifying number, if any, or description of the property and the amount appearing from the records to be due, but items of value under twenty-five dollars each may be reported in the aggregate;

(e) The date the property became payable, demandable, or returnable, and the date of the last transaction with the apparent owner with respect to the property; and

(f) Other information the department prescribes by rule as necessary for the administration of this chapter.

(3) If the person holding property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property is a successor to other persons who previously held the property for the apparent owner or the holder has changed his name while holding the property, he shall file with his report all known names and addresses of each previous holder of the property.

(4) The report must be filed before November 1 of each year and shall include all property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property under this chapter that is in the holder’s possession as of the preceding June 30th. On written request by any person required to file a report, the department may postpone the reporting date.

(5) After May 1, but before August 1, of each year in which a report is required by this section, the holder in possession of property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property under this chapter shall send written notice to the apparent owner at his last known address informing him that the holder is in possession of property subject to this chapter if:

(i) The holder has in its records an address for the apparent owner which the holder’s records do not disclose to be inaccurate,

(ii) The claim of the apparent owner is not barred by the statute of limitations, and

(iii) The property has a value of seventy-five dollars or more.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.170

Notice and publication of lists of abandoned property.

(1) The department shall cause a notice to be published not later than September 1, immediately following the report required by RCW 63.29.170 at least once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of this state in which is located the last known address of any person to be named in the notice. If no address is listed or the address is outside this state, the notice must be published in the county in which the holder of the property has its principal place of business within this state.

(2) The published notice must be entitled “Notice of Names of Persons Appearing to be Owners of Abandoned Property” and contain:

(a) The names in alphabetical order and last known address, if any, of persons listed in the report and entitled to notice within the county as specified in subsection (1) of this section; and

(b) A statement that information concerning the property and the name and last known address of the holder may be obtained by any person possessing an interest in the property by addressing an inquiry to the department.

(3) The department is not required to publish in the notice any items of less than seventy-five dollars unless the department considers their publication to be in the public interest.

(4) Not later than September 1, immediately following the report required by RCW 63.29.170, the department shall mail a notice to each person whose last known address is listed in the report and who appears to be entitled to property of the value of seventy-five dollars or more presumed abandoned under this chapter and any beneficiary of a life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract for whom the department has a last known address.

(5) The mailed notice must contain:

(a) A statement that, according to a report filed with the department, property is being held to which the addressee appears entitled; and

(b) The name and last known address of the person holding the property and any necessary information regarding the changes of name and last known address of the holder.

(6) This section is not applicable to sums payable on travelers checks, money orders, and other written instruments presumed abandoned under RCW 63.29.040.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.180

Payment or delivery of abandoned property.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person who is required to file a report under RCW 63.29.170 shall pay or deliver to the department all abandoned property required to be reported at the time of filing the report.

(2) Counties, cities, towns, and other municipal and quasi-municipal corporations that hold funds representing warrants canceled pursuant to RCW 36.22.100 and 39.56.040, uncashed checks, excess proceeds from property tax and irrigation district foreclosures, and property tax overpayments or refunds may retain the funds until the owner notifies them and establishes ownership as provided in RCW 63.29.135. Counties, cities, towns, or other municipal or quasi-municipal corporations shall provide to the department a report of property it is holding pursuant to this section. The report shall identify the property and owner in the manner provided in RCW 63.29.170 and the department shall publish the information as provided in RCW 63.29.180.

(3) The contents of a safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository presumed abandoned under RCW 63.29.160 and reported under RCW 63.29.170 shall be paid or delivered to the department within six months after the final date for filing the report required by RCW 63.29.170.

If the owner establishes the right to receive the abandoned property to the satisfaction of the holder before the property has been delivered or it appears that for some other reason the presumption of abandonment is erroneous, the holder need not pay or deliver the property to the department, and the property will no longer be presumed abandoned. In that case, the holder shall file with the department a verified written explanation of the proof of claim or of the error in the presumption of abandonment.

(4) The holder of an interest under RCW 63.29.100 shall deliver a duplicate certificate or other evidence of ownership if the holder does not issue certificates of ownership to the department. Upon delivery of a duplicate certificate to the department, the holder and any transfer agent, registrar, or other person acting for or on behalf of a holder in executing or delivering the duplicate certificate is relieved of all liability of every kind in accordance with RCW 63.29.200 to every person, including any person acquiring the original certificate or the duplicate of the certificate issued to the department, for any losses or damages resulting to any person by the issuance and delivery to the department of the duplicate certificate.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.190

Custody by state — Holder relieved from liability — Reimbursement of holder paying claim — Reclaiming for owner — Defense of holder — Payment of safe deposit box or repository charges.

(1) Upon the payment or delivery of property to the department, the state assumes custody and responsibility for the safekeeping of the property. A person who pays or delivers property to the department in good faith is relieved of all liability to the extent of the value of the property paid or delivered for any claim then existing or which thereafter may arise or be made in respect to the property.

(2) A holder who has paid money to the department pursuant to this chapter may make payment to any person appearing to the holder to be entitled to payment and, upon filing proof of payment and proof that the payee was entitled thereto, the department shall promptly reimburse the holder for the payment without imposing any fee or other charge. If reimbursement is sought for a payment made on an instrument, including a travelers check or money order, the holder must be reimbursed under this subsection upon filing proof that the instrument was duly presented and that payment was made to a person who appeared to the holder to be entitled to payment. The holder must be reimbursed for payment made under this subsection even if the payment was made to a person whose claim was barred under RCW 63.29.290(1).

(3) A holder who has delivered property (including a certificate of any interest in a business association) other than money to the department pursuant to this chapter may reclaim the property if still in the possession of the department, without paying any fee or other charge, upon filing proof that the owner has claimed the property from the holder.

(4) The department may accept the holder’s affidavit as sufficient proof of the facts that entitle the holder to recover money and property under this section.

(5) If the holder pays or delivers property to the department in good faith and thereafter another person claims the property from the holder or another state claims the money or property under its laws relating to escheat or abandoned or unclaimed property, the department, upon written notice of the claim, shall defend the holder against the claim and indemnify the holder against any liability on the claim.

(6) For the purposes of this section, “good faith” means that:

(a) Payment or delivery was made in a reasonable attempt to comply with this chapter;

(b) The person delivering the property was not a fiduciary then in breach of trust in respect to the property and had a reasonable basis for believing, based on the facts then known to him, that the property was abandoned for the purposes of this chapter; and

(c) There is no showing that the records pursuant to which the delivery was made did not meet reasonable commercial standards of practice in the industry.

(7) Property removed from a safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository is received by the department subject to the holder’s right under this subsection to be reimbursed for the actual cost of the opening and to any valid lien or contract providing for the holder to be reimbursed for unpaid rent or storage charges. The department shall reimburse or pay the holder out of the proceeds remaining after deducting the department’s selling cost. The liability of the department for this reimbursement to the holder shall be limited to the proceeds of the sale of the property remaining after the deduction of the department’s costs.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.200

Crediting of dividends, interest, or increments to owner’s account.
Whenever property other than money is paid or delivered to the department under this chapter, the owner is entitled to receive from the department any dividends, interest, or other increments realized or accruing on the property at or before liquidation or conversion thereof into money.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.210

Public sale of abandoned property.

(1) Except as provided in subsections (2), (3), and (6) of this section the department, within five years after the receipt of abandoned property, shall sell it to the highest bidder at public sale in whatever city in the state affords in the judgment of the department the most favorable market for the property involved. The department may decline the highest bid and reoffer the property for sale if in the judgment of the department the bid is insufficient. If in the judgment of the department the probable cost of sale exceeds the value of the property, it need not be offered for sale. Any sale held under this section must be preceded by a single publication of notice, at least three weeks in advance of sale, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the property is to be sold.

(2) Securities listed on an established stock exchange must be sold at prices prevailing at the time of sale on the exchange. Other securities may be sold over the counter at prices prevailing at the time of sale or by any other method the department considers advisable. All securities may be sold over the counter at prices prevailing at the time of the sale, or by any other method the department deems advisable.

(3) Unless the department considers it to be in the best interest of the state to do otherwise, all securities, other than those presumed abandoned under RCW 63.29.100, delivered to the department must be held for at least one year before being sold.

(4) Unless the department considers it to be in the best interest of the state to do otherwise, all securities presumed abandoned under RCW 63.29.100 and delivered to the department must be held for at least three years before being sold. If the department sells any securities delivered pursuant to RCW 63.29.100 before the expiration of the three-year period, any person making a claim pursuant to this chapter before the end of the three-year period is entitled to either the proceeds of the sale of the securities or the market value of the securities at the time the claim is made, whichever amount is greater, less any deduction for fees pursuant to RCW 63.29.230(2). A person making a claim under this chapter after the expiration of this period is entitled to receive either the securities delivered to the department by the holder, if they still remain in the hands of the department, or the proceeds received from sale, less any amounts deducted pursuant to RCW 63.29.230(2), but no person has any claim under this chapter against the state, the holder, any transfer agent, registrar, or other person acting for or on behalf of a holder for any appreciation in the value of the property occurring after delivery by the holder to the department.

(5) The purchaser of property at any sale conducted by the department pursuant to this chapter takes the property free of all claims of the owner or previous holder thereof and of all persons claiming through or under them. The department shall execute all documents necessary to complete the transfer of ownership.

(6) The department shall not sell any stock or other intangible ownership interest enrolled in a plan that provides for the automatic reinvestment of dividends, distributions, or other sums payable as a result of the interest.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.220

Deposit of funds.

(1) Except as otherwise provided by this section, the department shall promptly deposit in the general fund of this state all funds received under this chapter, including the proceeds from the sale of abandoned property under RCW 63.29.220. The department shall retain in a separate trust fund an amount not less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars from which prompt payment of claims duly allowed must be made by the department. Before making the deposit, the department shall record the name and last known address of each person appearing from the holders’ reports to be entitled to the property and the name and last known address of each insured person or annuitant and beneficiary and with respect to each policy or contract listed in the report of an insurance company its number, and the name of the company. The record must be available for public inspection at all reasonable business hours.

(2) The department of revenue may pay from the trust fund provided in subsection (1) of this section any costs of administering this chapter.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.230

Filing of claim with department.

(1) A person, excluding another state, claiming an interest in any property paid or delivered to the department may file with it a claim on a form prescribed by it and verified by the claimant.

(2) The department shall consider each claim within ninety days after it is filed and give written notice to the claimant if the claim is denied in whole or in part. The notice may be given by mailing it to the last address, if any, stated in the claim as the address to which notices are to be sent. If no address for notices is stated in the claim, the notice may be mailed to the last address, if any, of the claimant as stated in the claim. No notice of denial need be given if the claim fails to state either the last address to which notices are to be sent or the address of the claimant.

(3) If a claim is allowed, the department shall pay over or deliver to the claimant the property or the amount the department actually received or the net proceeds if it has been sold by the department, together with any additional amount required by RCW 63.29.210. If the claim is for property presumed abandoned under RCW 63.29.100 which was sold by the department within three years after the date of delivery, the amount payable for that claim is the value of the property at the time the claim was made or the net proceeds of sale, whichever is greater. If the property claimed was interest-bearing to the owner on the date of surrender by the holder, the department also shall pay interest at the legal rate or any lesser rate the property earned while in the possession of the holder. Interest begins to accrue when the property is delivered to the department and ceases on the earlier of the expiration of ten years after delivery or the date on which payment is made to the owner. No interest on interest-bearing property is payable for any period before June 30, 1983.

(4) Any holder who pays the owner for property that has been delivered to the state and which, if claimed from the department, would be subject to subsection (3) of this section shall add interest as provided in subsection (3) of this section. The added interest must be repaid to the holder by the department in the same manner as the principal.

Title 63, Chap. 63.29 RCW 63.29.240