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Unclaimed Property Types For Investigators

About Safe Deposit Box Accounts (For Investigators)

About Securities Accounts (For Investigators)

Can you tell me the value of the contents of a safe deposit box?

No. For security reasons, we cannot disclose the contents of safe deposit boxes. However, you can ask whether or not the contents have a commercial value.

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How do I submit a claim for a safe deposit box that has multiple owners?

Before we can release the contents, we need letters from all owners stating that they have agreed that the property can be collected by or sent to a named owner who should receive the property.

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How are claims for safe deposit boxes processed?

If the safe deposit box contents have been sold, as required by California’s Unclaimed Property Law, payment is made as a regular cash claim. If there are contents to be returned to the owner, the contents are returned to the claimant and the investigator must request their payment from the claimant.

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Are unclaimed property owners entitled to any dividends or stock splits for their securities while they are being held by the State Controller's Office?

The property owner or heir is entitled to the benefits from any corporate actions taken by the issuing company, such as dividends, mergers, and stock splits, while the stock is being held by the State Controller's Office for safekeeping. If securities have been sold, the law specifies that the claimant is entitled to receive the net proceeds of the sale and any dividends, interest, or other increments realized before the securities were sold by us. Dividends are split per the Standard Investigator Agreement. If no percentage is assigned in the Standard Investigator Agreement, the claimant will receive one hundred percent (100%) of the proceeds.

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If my payment is in shares how will I know when the stock has been transferred to a Transfer Agent or Mutual Fund Company?

If the Standard Investigator Agreement assigns the Investigator share(s) of the property, the Investigator will receive a stock transfer letter from us noting the Property ID number, the number of shares transferred for the Investigator's portion of the stock claim, the name of the security, and the name of the property owner/claimant. Investigators will also receive a copy of the transfer letter sent to the claimant listing the claimant’s portion of the stock.The transfer process can take 6-8 weeks.

  • Stocks: If stocks are transferred to a transfer agent, the transfer agent company should send you a reference number and confirmation statement that notes the date on which the securities were transferred. At that time, they will request that you provide them with instructions on how you want them to manage or process your securities (sell them, open an account, or move them to a different broker). Please keep your reference number in your records. You will need this number when you contact the transfer agent about the securities.
  • Mutual Funds: Our office will send you the necessary paperwork to open an account at the mutual fund company so your funds can be transferred to you.

We will send you a letter notifying you when the securities are scheduled to be sent to the transfer agent or mutual fund. Once the State Controller's Office transfers the securities to the transfer agent/mutual fund company the State Controller’s office is no longer an owner of the securities and has no control or authority over the remaining process. Transfer agents/mutual funds take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to notify you that the transfer has occurred.

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