People or businesses that have unclaimed checks issued by our office for county-related and court-related activities
For the most current Florida statute information, please visit the Florida Senate website.
Helpful hints on how can you avoid having monies considered unclaimed or abandoned:
Unclaimed funds held by Personal Representative that cannot be distributed or paid because of inability to find lawful owner or because no lawful owner is known or because lawful owner refuses to accept property after a reasonable attempt to distribute it and after notice to that lawful owner.
Unclaimed funds held by Guardian which cannot be distributed because no estate proceeding has been instituted.
Probate Court Registry
A Petition and signed Order Depositing Unclaimed Funds are needed to deposit money into the Court Registry.
If the case is an Estate and the amount of the deposit is over $500.00 or if it is a Guardianship and the amount is over $100.00, a “Notice to Deposit Unclaimed Funds” will be completed and mailed to the Gulf Coast Business Review for publishing. The cost for publishing the Notice is currently $100 and this fee is paid from the funds that were deposited into the Court Registry. The Notice is published once a month for 2 consecutive months.
If this is an Estate and the amount of the deposit is $500.00 or less or if it is a Guardianship and the amount is $100.00 or less, the “Notice to Deposit Unclaimed Funds” will not get published in the newspaper, but will get posted in the lobby of the Clearwater Courthouse for 30 days.
Once time has expired – six months from the first date of publication in the newspaper or after 30 days of posting in the Courthouse lobby – the funds will be disbursed from the Registry using one of two methods. The funds will either be released to the State Comptroller’s Office in Tallahassee or to a specific person outlined in a Petition and Order to Release Unclaimed Funds signed by a Judge. If funds are released by a Court Order to a beneficiary and interest has accumulated on these funds, a completed W-9 Tax Form is needed from the beneficiary before the interest can be released. The name on the W-9 form has to match the name listed on the Court Order Releasing Unclaimed Funds.
Unclaimed monies; any unclaimed money collected or deposited by the Clerk in the course of the Clerk's court related activities prior to January 1 of the preceding year.
Identified monies: with case number and/or defendant's name.
Types of funds that fall under 116.21
Overpayment of fines and court fees
Registry deposits without an order to disburse
Chapter 717, Florida Statutes, is The Florida Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act. Virtually every business organization from non-profits to Fortune 500 corporations to governmental agencies has some form of unclaimed property in their possession and is considered a "Holder" of unclaimed property.
Unclaimed property is primarily an intangible property liability that has been inactive on the books of an entity for a period of time (dormancy period), and for which there has been no owner generated activity. The intangible property liability does not become unclaimed property until it reaches the end of the required dormancy period as provided by law.
All claims must be received before April 1st of the current year. Claims must be made in writing and must include your signature and identifying information matching the name or business name on the property. Mortgage Foreclosure Cases – Require a court order.
Once the funds have been reported to the State, they can be located by searching Florida’s Unclaimed Property database at www.fltreasurehunt.gov. The website also provides instructions for claiming the funds.
45.032 is covered by 717 and is for mortgage foreclosure monies.