Banking Interpretations

Abandoned Property Law Sec. 300 et seq.

Sharon Cherry
via email 
07/02/2003 09:49 AM

Dear Ms. [ ]:

Your e-mail to Sara Kelsey, Deputy Superintendent and Counsel has been forwarded to me for a response. You state that you are the executrix of the estate of [ ]; a former New York domiciliary. You indicate that despite notification of [ ] death and requests for all assets belonging to [ ], several trustees for government bond issuers and transfer agents for corporations refused to provide you with the assets and turned them over to the Comptroller's Office. You ask if these entities had the right to deem the property abandoned and turn it over to New York State.

Assuming that the trustees for government bond issuers and the transfer agents involved are banking institutions, the law pertaining to abandoned property in the possession of banking institutions is set forth in large part in Articles III and V of New York's Abandoned Property Law. The laws are administered and the funds are collected by the New York State Comptroller's Office of Unclaimed Funds, which is located in Albany. In order to determine whether the state is holding any abandoned property in [ ] name, which you may claim, check the following website: There will be a link to "Unclaimed Funds." You may also call 1-800-221-9311 for assistance.

The Banking Department is not an adjudicatory body and is not in a position to determine whether the funds should have been released to you. For example, it is not clear from your e-mail whether you provided the institutions with Letters Testamentary or other documentation that may have been required in order for the institutions to release [ ] assets to you. In any event, since the funds have already been turned over to the Comptroller's Office, I suggest that you contact that office as indicated above.

I trust this is helpful.

Sharon Cherry 
Associate Attorney