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The process of turning over unclaimed or abandoned property to a state authority. Under state law, when a brokerage account or other investment is abandoned or unclaimed after a specified number of years, the financial institution must report this to the appropriate state. If the financial institution cannot find the account's owner after diligently trying, the state claims the account through the escheatment process.
Escheatment can happen if a brokerage account, such as that for your stock plan shares, has no activity for a long period and you cannot be reached (as evidenced, for example, by returned regular mail and emails). For details, see the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
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