Washington unclaimed property laws may be significantly modified with the introduction of WA H 2486. Introduced on January 10, 2018, the bill seeks to adopt the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act of 2016 (RUUPA). Dormancy periods and triggers for existing and new property types are introduced, along with new requirements for additional holder outreach and due diligence.
The bill, if passed, becomes effective on January 1, 2019.
While the Act itself outlines the dormancy periods and trigger changes for retirement accounts, “other tax-deferred accounts,” securities accounts and other common property types, other key aspects of the bill are listed below.
Additional Holder Outreach and Due Diligence Requirements in Washington
Additional holder outreach efforts require that holders who do not communicate with the owners of retirement accounts, custodial accounts, or securities via regular mail, must send the owner an electronic communication not later than 2 years after the owner’s last indication of interest in the property. This is separate and apart from the due diligence requirements.
Under WA H 2486, due diligence notices must be sent between 60 and 180 days prior to the state’s escheat reporting deadline. If an owner of unclaimed property has consented to receive electronic communications from the holder, the holder must send due diligence notice via regular mail and electronic mail.
Washington Unclaimed Property Definitions and Property Types
Washington’s new Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act also introduces new types of escheatable property, including health savings accounts and custodial accounts.
New definitions include:
- “Property,” which includes virtual currency, and excludes property held in 529 ABLE plans; game-related digital content, loyalty cards and gift cards that comply with Chapter 19.240 RCW; and
- “Stored-value cards,” which include payroll cards, but excludes loyalty cards, gift cards, and game-related digital content.
Additional Changes to Washington Unclaimed Property Law:
Under the Washington Unclaimed Property Act, the Administrator must sell all securities delivered to the Administrator as soon as practicable after receipt, in the judgment of the Administrator. A person who makes a claim is only entitled to receive the proceeds from the sale of the securities. However, if the Administrator receives the claim and has not yet ordered the securities to be sold, the claimant is entitled to either the securities delivered to the Administrator by the holder or the proceeds from the sale, less any amounts deducted for expenses and service charges.
Lastly, a 10-year transitional provision requires that property that was not previously required to be reported, but is now required under the Act to be reported, must be included for the 10-year period preceding the effective date.
Keane will continue to track and monitor activity with regard to these RUUPA developments in Washington State, as well as all legislative activity by providing updates on our blog and on our Compliance Portal. We invite you to sign up for our free legislative alerts to receive real-time updates on the latest happenings within the unclaimed property industry.