Unclaimed Property

Overview

States have long asserted the right to take possession of apparently unclaimed or abandoned property and to hold that property until its true owner can claim it. However, in recent years there has been a proliferation of states using unclaimed property laws to take possession of intangible property held by businesses and to use that unclaimed property as a source of revenue. Reliance upon multi-state and contingent-fee private auditors and on audit estimation techniques has only accelerated this phenomenon.

Clients facing uncertainty around unclaimed property exposure seek out BakerHostetler attorneys for our thoughtful and practical approach to addressing unclaimed property challenges. From advising on mitigating potential exposure to fighting unwarranted audits and assessments, our attorneys seek to implement effective compliance strategies. We often supervise unclaimed property consulting firms to deliver the best outcomes for our clients, and our realistic, no-nonsense guidance helps businesses manage risk and address issues before they become problems.

In the last 30 years, our seasoned team of legal advisors has been engaged to advise on virtually every facet of unclaimed property compliance across a broad variety of industries, with particular emphasis on the insurance and health care sectors. We have reviewed internal compliance, analyzed audit exposure, structured transactions and reorganizations, provided legal opinions, guided clients through voluntary disclosures, recommended compliance policies, and counseled businesses under audit. Because of the breadth and depth of experience among the lawyers in our firm, we are able to implement multidisciplinary solutions that recognize and take into account the unique complexities of our clients’ industries and business models.

Select Experience

  • Supervise consultants to respond strategically and efficiently to multistate contingent-fee audit of life insurance company while challenging implementation of Death Master File matching procedures.
  • Counseled multi-state client on implementation of dissolution and liquidation of non-ERISA benefits plan in compliance with the unclaimed property laws of more than 30 states.
  • Analyzed audit exposure and developed unclaimed property compliance policy for healthcare service provider.
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Experience

  • Supervise consultants to respond strategically and efficiently to multistate contingent-fee audit of life insurance company while challenging implementation of Death Master File matching procedures.
  • Counseled multi-state client on implementation of dissolution and liquidation of non-ERISA benefits plan in compliance with the unclaimed property laws of more than 30 states.
  • Analyzed audit exposure and developed unclaimed property compliance policy for healthcare service provider.
  • Advised health insurance company implementing unclaimed property mitigation and compliance plan.
  • Participated in drafting the business to business exemption in the Ohio Unclaimed Funds Act.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Tax
    • District of Columbia (2010 to 2018)
      • Band 3
    • Recognized Practitioner: Nationwide Tax: Controversy (2014 to 2018)
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, we were named to the 2018 BTI Client Service 30 for the fourth consecutive year.

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