What is Unclaimed Money in Alaska?
Unclaimed money, also called unclaimed property, is any amount of money or kind of property held by any organization which remains unpaid, uncashed, or has no proof of ownership over a sustained period. It includes stocks, bonds, mutual funds, bank accounts, and uncashed payroll checks.
Typically, businesses and other entities possessing unclaimed money (i.e., the holders) are expected to turn over the funds to the state government once the statutory period for holding such property (and diligently searching for the rightful owner) passes. This process is known as escheatment. Before escheating property, however, the holder will send a written notice to the owner's last known address, informing the owner that the property is subject to the escheatment laws of the state.
Alaska's unclaimed property laws are codified in Chapter 34.45 of the Alaska Statutes. These laws outline varying periods within which property is deemed unclaimed. For example, 15 years for traveler's checks, 5 years for bank deposits, 7 years for money orders, 3 years for life insurance policies, and so on.
The Alaska Department of Revenue's Treasury Division receives all unclaimed property in the state. The department is also responsible for safeguarding the property and reuniting owners with their lost or abandoned property.
How to Find Unclaimed Money in Alaska
The Alaska Treasury Division serves as the custodian for all unclaimed property in the State of Alaska. In its attempt to locate the owners of these properties, the agency offers a searchable database to the public. Individuals who think they have unclaimed money in Alaska can search this database (basically a government list of unclaimed funds) with a last name or business name. Alternatively, the public can mail or visit the department at:
Alaska Department of Revenue
Unclaimed Property Program
P.O. Box 110405
Juneau, AK 99811-0405
Alaska Department of Revenue
Unclaimed Property Program
333 Willoughby Avenue
11th Floor State Office Building
Juneau, AK 99801-1770
Phone: (844) 252-2741 or 844-AKCASH1
Fax: (907) 465-2394
How Do I Find Alaska Unclaimed Money for Free?
Individuals can access the Alaska Treasury Division's online portal to search for unclaimed money, obtain information on unclaimed funds, or file a claim as the owner of unclaimed property. The agency does not charge a fee to search or claim unclaimed property via the portal.
Residents of Alaska can also search for unclaimed money through federal agencies. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers an unclaimed funds site that veterans or their beneficiaries can search to find and recover unclaimed life insurance policies. However, Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance or Veterans' Group Life Insurance policies from 1965 to date are exempt.
Another federal agency with a database of unclaimed funds is the United States Bankruptcy Court. Only funds from bankruptcy proceedings held in the bankruptcy courts (for example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Alaska) can be searched on the site.
How to Claim Unclaimed Money in Alaska
The Alaska Department of Revenue, Treasury Division, provides an Unclaimed Property website to find and claim unclaimed money in Alaska. To claim unclaimed money, individuals must first search for their unclaimed money on the website.
Upon locating the funds, the interested party can begin the claims process by clicking on the relevant button. This action will redirect the claimant to a few web pages to provide information, including a mailing address to receive the funds and documents validating their claim. For example, a completed and signed claim form, a copy of a government-issued photo ID, and a legal document listing the claimant's social security number. Typically, these documents should be uploaded via a secure link.
After completing the above steps, the applicant will receive a claim number from the Treasury Division, which can be used to track the claim's status via the agency's unclaimed property website or by calling (844) 252-2741.
How Long Does It Take to Get Unclaimed Money in Alaska?
There is no set time frame for receiving unclaimed money in Alaska. Nevertheless, the speed at which the Alaska Treasury Division processes each claim for unclaimed money depends on several factors, such as the number of properties involved, the property type and amount, and the division's ability to validate the submitted information and documentation.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in Alaska?
If the owner of unclaimed money is deceased, only an heir or a court-appointed representative can file a claim to recover the property. However, the claimant must provide some official documents before the Treasury Division can release the funds. This includes a valid copy of the death certificate, as well as certified probate documents that establish the representative's right to act on behalf of the decedent's estate and the claimant's proof of identification (e.g., a driver's license or any other state-issued identification card).
What Happens to Alaska Unclaimed Money if No One Claims It?
Unclaimed money remitted to the State of Alaska has no time limit within which it must be claimed. The Alaska Treasury Division secures these funds in a trust until the legitimate owners submit a claim. Once the owner can establish their legal entitlement to a sum of money, the division will release it.
Can Someone in Alaska Claim Unclaimed Money From Another State?
Yes. No laws or regulations restrain Alaska residents from claiming unclaimed money in other states. Anyone who finds that they have unclaimed money in another state can either contact the agency in charge of the funds or submit a claim through the agency's website. Similar to the claims submitted in Alaska, the claimant must also submit supporting documents to the agency.