Abandoned Property & Escheatment

What is escheatment?

Escheatment is a process that requires financial institutions to report and remit, or turn over, abandoned or unclaimed property, including financial assets.

I received an abandoned property & escheatment notice from Merrill Edge

Receipt of an abandoned property and escheatment notice may be concerning. In most cases, though, it's not too late to stop your assets from being turned over to a state.
If you received a notice, we ask you to take one of the following actions:
  • Log in to the Merrill Edge website or the Merrill Edge mobile app.
    (If you've forgotten your password, there are instructions for resetting it.)
  • Call us 24/7 at 877.653.4732 to confirm your information.
    (This does not apply in New York State.)
  • If we've sent you a form to re-establish contact, please complete and return it immediately

Frequently asked questions

Below are some commonly asked questions about abandoned property, escheatment and retaining the assets in your account.
I received a notice from Merrill Edge about abandoned property. Why did I receive it?
You received a notice because our records indicate that your Merrill Edge account has been inactive for 1 or more years or has been subject to returned mail from the U.S. Postal Service. Accounts that may be eligible for escheatment are notified by mail with instructions for how to re-establish contact and demonstrate activity.
What is abandoned property?
States and territories require financial institutions to report and remit, or turn over, personal property, including investing accounts, when an account has been inactive for a period of time specified by each state's laws. States typically define abandoned property as one or both of the following:
  • Inactivity on the account where there is no owner-initiated contact or activity during the timeframe established by the state
  • Accounts considered abandoned because mail has been returned as undeliverable by U.S. Postal Service
How long does an account have to be considered inactive before assets may be turned over to the state (escheatment)?
Each state has its own timeframe depending on the type of account, but logging into your account at least once a year will ensure it remains active.
How often do I need to initiate contact or activity in my account to maintain active status and avoid escheatment?
We suggest logging into your account, or doing one of the other activities noted above, at least once annually to maintain active status. However, the applicable laws for your state dictate the required frequency.
You should also make sure that we have current contact information for you, including physical mailing address, phone number, email address and any legal name changes.
Can I set up recurring activity — such as dividend reinvestment, recurring investments or setting recurring deposits — to keep my account active?
No. Recurring activity is not deemed an owner-initiated activity by most states.
What happens if my assets have already been escheated (turned over) to a state?
You will need to contact the state directly to retrieve your assets.
Be aware that the state may liquidate your assets as quickly as 30 days after transfer. Each state has its own requirements for claiming escheated property and may require verification of your ownership. Please visit your state treasurer's website for more information.

Have questions
or concerns?

Call 877.653.4732.
We're here to help, 24/7.
Have questions or concerns?
Call 877.653.4732.
We're here to help, 24/7.