Sep. 12, 2022

HARRISBURG – Working hard to add grandchildren to the list of individuals eligible to claim a deceased relatives’ property being held as unclaimed by the state Treasury, Rep. Milou Mackenzie (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) was pleased to announce Monday that her bill, House Bill 1534, passed unanimously in the House.

“Any grandchild will be required to show there are no other surviving relatives in the order of preference to be eligible to make the claim,” said Mackenzie. “This is an important step in the right direction to help grandchildren and families of deceased loves ones simplify a difficult and complex process.”

Mackenzie notes there have been many instances where grandchildren have been the individuals who discover the existence of unclaimed property after the death of a surviving spouse, child, mother or father, or brother or sister of the decedent. Because lineal descendants, such as grandchildren, are not currently included in this provision, they must go through the probate process in order to claim this property, which can be lengthy and costly.

In recent years, the General Assembly has been actively publicizing the existence of the Unclaimed Property Bureau within the state Treasury with the intent to ease the re-capturing process for Pennsylvanians. Any financial asset with a bank, insurance company, or other business or organization that has been without activity or contact for a period of five years is considered unclaimed property that is then held by the Treasury. In order for an individual to retrieve this property from the Treasury, they must complete a simple claim form.

Current law provides that when property is owned by an individual who has died and is in the custody of the Treasury as unclaimed property, the Treasury is permitted to distribute this property, if the value is $11,000 or less, to a surviving spouse, child, mother or father, or sister or brother of the decedent if a personal representative of the decedent has not been appointed or five years have lapsed since the appointment of a personal representative of the decedent.

House Bill 1534 now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Rep. Milou Mackenzie
131st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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