|About Unclaimed Property |
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel administers Unclaimed Property for Missouri. His office currently holds more than $750 million in unclaimed assets in more than 4.4 million owner accounts.
Each year financial institutions, businesses, government agencies and other organizations turn over millions of dollars and the contents of nearly 1,000 safe deposit boxes to Treasurer Zweifel’s office. One in 10 Missourians has Unclaimed Property and the average claim is about $300.
Treasurer Zweifel uses a variety of resources to assist in finding the original owners or rightful heirs of Unclaimed Property, and maintains unclaimed funds in trust for the rightful owners or their legal heirs forever. Unclaimed Property never becomes the property of the state. Unclaimed Property holds the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes for at least one year upon receipt. Silver bars, false teeth, diamond rings, cremated remains, letters signed by President Abraham Lincoln and many other items have been discovered when opening abandoned safe deposit boxes.
Although Treasurer Zweifel would like to keep the contents of safe deposit boxes until an owner or heir is identified, the Unclaimed Property vault used to store non-monetary items of value (jewelry, coins, etc.) reaches capacity every couple of years. When the vault is full, Treasurer Zweifel hosts an auction, and the proceeds generated from the sale of items from safe deposit boxes are recorded in the name of the safe deposit box owner. If owners or heirs are identified, they receive the entire proceeds from the sale of the items. It is important to note Treasurer Zweifel developed and saw passed a law in 2010 that prohibits the sale of unclaimed military medals – these honors will be held and cared for until returned to the recipient or heir.