Wisconsin Passes Revised Unclaimed Property Act

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On November 5, 2021 Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed Wisconsin Act 87 into law, which adopts a version of the 2016 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act.  In a departure from some versions of the 2016 uniform act, the Wisconsin legislation keeps the old law's general 5 year dormancy period for unspecified general intangible property as well as the previous law's business-to-business exemption.   Some of the changes imposed by the new legislation are as follows:

  • the dormancy period for money orders is shortened from 7 years to 5 years;
  • the definition of "property" subject to the Act now expressly includes "virtual currency;"
  • the definition of "property" subject to the Act now expressly excludes 529A plan assets, game-related digital content, loyalty cards, in-store credits for returned merchandise, gift cards, and stored-value cards;
  • the law has clarified dormancy standards for securities, tax-deferred accounts, and UGMA/UTMA assets;
  • the Act now specifies the content of due diligence notices sent to holders; and
  • the aggregate reporting threshold is now limited to $5, and only if the apparent owner is unknown.

The effective date of the Act is November 7, 2021 and will thus apply to next year's unclaimed property reports with the state.

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