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State Holding Millions In Unclaimed Assets

Kentucky’s treasurer says the state is now holding about $300 million worth of unclaimed assets.Unclaimed property typically includes savings and checking accounts, stocks and personal property forgotten by their owners. Sometimes the owners have died and their heirs aren’t aware of the property.State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach says unclaimed property is usually turned over to the state after about three years. Cash doesn’t sit idle; tens of millions of dollars are transferred annually into the state’s general fund."Our primary obligation of course is to get it back to the rightful owners. When it comes to us in the form of cash, it goes into the general fund pretty fast quite frankly. But it goes in as a contingent liability, because we know we might be called upon to return the money to the rightful owner as soon as we find him or her," he said. Hollenbach says the state has been receiving about $40 million in overall unclaimed property for each of the last several years. His office keeps a searchable databaseof the property.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.