Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC
California
Estate Planning
& Tax Law
Toll Free: 888-312-6978
Website Navigation Menu

Unclaimed property in California: The adventure continues

There are only a few ways the government can take private property. Eminent domain, for example, allows the government -- usually the city or the state, but, really, any government body -- to take privately owned land for public use. The government still has to pay for the land, but as long as it pays a fair price and meets the "public use" requirement, it's valid. The meaning of public use, of course, is tested time and again in the courts, but if there is a public use, the taking is legal.

The government can also take your property if you forget about it or never realized it was yours in the first place. California will eventually get life insurance proceeds if the beneficiary cannot be located or fails to come forward. California will eventually get the contents of a bank account that sits dormant for a certain time, and California will eventually get the contents of our friend's safe deposit box -- including the Babar book -- if the box is abandoned.

The formal term for this is escheat (from the French, eschoir, to fall incidentally, according to Blacks Law Dictionary 10th Ed.). Most people skip the formality and go for something easier to spell and to pronounce: This is the law of unclaimed property.

The process is fairly simple. If there is no contact with the owner or no activity on a bank account, safe deposit box, securities or similar types of property for a period of time defined by statute, the entity that has possession of the property (the "holder") must report the information to the state and then hand over the contents of the account, the safe deposit box, and so on, to the state Controller's Office.

What happens from there? We'll get to that in our next post.

Source: California State Controller's Office, Unclaimed Property Program FAQs, accessed March 6, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us Now to begin your initial consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

FindLaw Network

Office Locations

Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC
490 Post Street, Suite 508
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-433-3350
Toll Free: 888-312-6978
Map and Directions

Additional Office Locations:
Pleasanton
323 Ray Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Phone: 925-484-0888 
Pleasanton Law Office Map

San Mateo
1900 S. Norfolk Street, Suite 350
San Mateo, CA 94403
Phone: 415-433-3350
Map and Directions

Sunnyvale
1250 Oakmead Pkwy, Suite 210 
Sunnyvale, CA 94085 
Phone: 888-312-6978 
Map and Directions