California State Controller's seal

Consumer Information

Keep your property from being turned over to the California State Controller’s Office

Property is turned over to the California State Controller’s Office for safekeeping when a company or financial institution loses contact or communication with the property owner. There are several steps you can take to prevent your property from being turned over to us.  

Cash your dividend, interest, or refund checks promptly

  • Cash any cashier’s checks within three (3) years of the date of issuance or return them to the bank for reissue.
  • Cash any money orders within seven (7) years of the date of issuance or return them to the bank for reissue.   

Keep accurate records of all financial accounts and review them at least once a year

  • Make a list of all your bank accounts, securities interests, stocks, mutual funds, insurance policies, safe deposit boxes, employers, rent and utility deposits, and your financial institution’s or company’s contact information.
  • Maintain contact with financial institutions and companies by notifying them of address changes, name changes, or changes in ownership due to a death or divorce.
  • Regularly check bank statements or other correspondence received from financial institutions for notices that require a response.
  • Respond to proxy notices sent by companies in which you own stock.

Maintain annual activity on accounts

  • Keep bank accounts active through withdrawals, deposits, or written or electronic correspondence.
  • Keep Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) accounts active through written or electronic contact with the financial institution.
  • Make photocopies of all important documents and make sure your family knows where they are located.

Provide your financial institutions with a secondary contact or beneficiary contact name

  • Let all of your account holders know who should be the beneficiaries of all of your assets, and update them as needed.
  • Inform your spouse, family, and heirs of all of your financial assets.
  • Prepare and file a will detailing how you want your assets distributed.
  • If you are the executor, trustee, or administrator of an estate, notify banks, insurance companies, employers, and other types of financial institutions in possession of the deceased person’s property as soon as possible.

Remain aware of your accounts

  • If something changes, such as you stop receiving dividend checks or statements, contact the institution right away to ensure your account is still active.    
  • Pay the fees on safe deposit boxes on time. If you received a free box with your account, do not forget to check your box at least annually.

Respond promptly to property transfer notifications

  • Banks and financial institutions are required by law to send owners of inactive accounts, valued at $50 or more, a notice at least six (6) months before they are required to report the property to the state. At the top of the notice it will state: The State of California requires us to notify you that your unclaimed property may be transferred to the state if you do not contact us. It is important that you respond to the notice promptly, or else your property will be transferred.
  • Before property is transferred to the state, the State Controller’s Office sends a notice to all property owners with property valued at $50 or more informing them that they have property that will be transferred to the state unless they notify the business by a certain date. The State Controller’s notice includes the name of the business, the contact information, the type of property and the amount. It is critical that you contact the business by the date stated to prevent the property from being transferred to the state.
  • Please note: The business contact information is provided by the business and occasionally changes after the State Controller's Office sends the notice to property owners.  The link below provides the updated contact information for businesses that have changed their information. If you are having trouble contacting the business and do not see their name listed below, please call our Call Center at (800) 992-4647 (Nationwide) or (916) 323-2827 (Outside of US) to report the problem.  Our Call Center is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays

Updated business contacts

Click on this link Updated Business Contact Information list for the most current information provided to the State Controller's Office.

 * For more information about the Unclaimed Property Program, visit our Frequently Asked Questions