Showing posts from May, 2013

Why Delaware Gets An "F" from Industry on Unclaimed Property Regulation

Despite its small size (49th out of 50 states) and relatively modest population (45th out of 50), Delaware has always played an important role in the commercial and governmental history of the United States:  Delaware was the "First State" -- that is, the first state to  ratify the Constitution .  Delaware also was home to the first scheduled steam railroad service, and (according to some references) the state where  the U.S. flag was flown for the first time (at the Battle of Cooch's Bridge, near Newark, Delaware on September 3, 1777).   However, probably nowhere more than in the corporate world has Delaware played an important role in the business of this country, especially as a corporate domicile.  For example, despite having a population of approximately 917,000 people, Delaware is home to nearly a million companies.  The reasons for Delaware's position as the corporate domicile of choice are varied, but include a well-developed business law, an established and

UPPO to Host Webinar on Potential Revisions to Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

As we  mentioned  in January, the  National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL)   announced  the formation of a "study committee" to consider revisions and/or amendments to the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act of 1995.  The NCCUSL is the entity that promulgated the 1995 Uniform Act, a variant of which is in effect in a substantial number of states.  Given the infrequency with which the Uniform Acts are revised (the revisions that became the 1995 Act came 14 years after the enactment of the previous Uniform Act) potential revisions are a big deal.  Ultimately, the committee may suggest amendments to the current (1995) Uniform Act, draft a completely new uniform act, or decide that no action is warranted. The NCCUSL sponsored a hearing on April 24, during which time a variety of participants provided comments on whether the Uniform Act should be revised.  For those looking for more information about the Uniform Act process, some of the issues raised at th

Politicians - They're Just Like Us (Unclaimed Property Edition)

Yesterday's  Oklahoman  had an article about unclaimed property being held by the state for a variety of  state elected officials , including the Lieutenant Governor.  One might think that elected officials and government entities (so closely involved with the government of the state) would be well aware of state unclaimed property laws, and would thus be quick to notice and claim any property that was surrendered to the state.  One might think that.  One would be wrong.  In just a small sample: The California Secretary of State's Office and Franchise Tax Board both have property held by the State Controller's Office.  The Florida Department of Insurance, New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles, and Mississippi State Treasurer all have property held in their own states. Former Governors Mitt Romney (MA), Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA), and Jim McGreevey (NJ) all have unclaimed property being held for them by a variety of states. Moving to even higher elective office, Presid

Life Insurance Updates: Mountain Time Zone Edition

The past few years have seen  substantial developments relating to life insurers, and this year is no exception thus far.  While past years have seen audits, investigations, lawsuits and settlements regarding insurers' purported failures to look for deceased policyholders, legislative developments this year are focusing on requiring such searches to be done going forward.   In particular, in the first third of this year, a variety of states have passed laws requiring life insurers to check their policies against the Social Security Death Master File in order to determine whether policyholders are deceased (and thus, whether benefits are payable). For example, on March 29, 2013 Montana enacted the “Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act” ( Montana Senate Bill 34 ) which will require insurers and related entities, starting next year, to compare their policies against the Social Security Administration’s death master file (or a similar database) on a semiann