Unclaimed property

If you are the owner or beneficiary of funds in an account with us, but have lost contact with us for a period of time, you may be the rightful owner of unclaimed property.

Unclaimed property includes:

  • Dormant accounts
  • Uncashed checks to vendors, insureds, beneficiaries, providers
  • Death benefits/ contract values
  • Matured endowments
  • Life insurance/ Annuity maturity values

Securing your policy or unclaimed property

We are committed to paying all legitimately submitted claims for unclaimed property. To help ensure that your rights are protected, we adhere to defined procedures developed with state insurance regulators. Based on individual state law, these procedures help Lincoln identify unreported claims, locate beneficiaries and pay policy proceeds.

What you need to know

Individual state laws require that we consider money, property and other assets to be abandoned after a period of inactivity or “dormancy,” usually ranging from one to five years.  During this dormancy period, we make a concerted effort to seek out and return property to the rightful owners, including through issuing unclaimed property letters. Examples of these letters are shown below.

If we are unable to locate the rightful owner(s), the money may be turned over (i.e., escheated) to the appropriate state, based on the regulations of individual states. In these cases, Lincoln is required by law to remit unclaimed property to the state of the last known address for the property owner.

What you can do

To avoid dormancy as the primary owner of the policy

Review all in-force contracts or policies with your financial advisor, and notify Lincoln of any changes. For Group-related policies, provide your employer with up-to-date contact and beneficiary designation information.

Work with us to maintain up-to-date contact information for you, your beneficiaries or other insureds on your policy or rider.  This will help ensure that we can reach the appropriate person when necessary, and that claims are paid promptly and efficiently.

Register and login to confirm your information, including:

  • Contact details for each insured owner and beneficiary
  • Current addresses and phone numbers
  • Accurate dates of birth and Social Security Numbers.

As the beneficiary or rightful owner of the unclaimed property

  • If you believe that you may be the beneficiary of unclaimed property, you have multiple options for confirming this and claiming your rightful property.
     

    • Complete the Lost Policy Inquiry form on this website to notify us that you believe that you may be a beneficiary and that you have lost your policy information. This will start the process to request information. Please expect a response from the Lincoln Lost Policy Inquiry support team within 10 calendar days of submission.

    • Visit the website of the state in which the policy was issued. If the policy in question has been turned over to the state, then you will need to work with the state in order to claim the funds.  Most states allow you to initiate the claim process for unclaimed property online through their websites. If you’re unsure of what state applies, you can use this tool to search across multiple states.

    • If you have received a letter from us informing you that you are recipient of unclaimed property, respond within six weeks of the date shown on the letter. Use the sample letters below to verify that the letter you received matches the template. Please refer to the contact information provided in your letter if you have questions about your specific property.

Unclaimed death benefit letter template (PDF)

Unclaimed policy/contract values letter template (PDF)

Frequently asked questions

Why did I receive an unclaimed property letter from Lincoln?

Lincoln is required by statute to attempt to contact any person or company to whom our records indicate property is due. Recipients of the letter are encouraged to review their records and take one of the following actions:

  • If the money is due, claim the money by completing the form and returning it to Lincoln
  • If money isn’t due, return the form with a note that the item isn’t due

If the form isn’t returned to Lincoln, the money will be paid to the state of the last known address.

What does this money represent?

The funds we’re holding may be due to you in the form of a check that wasn’t cashed or due to you relating to a life or annuity policy.

  • All states require that we hold the funds for a specified period of time depending on the type of funds being held.
  • All states require that we mail an unclaimed property letter to the payee usually within one year or less of the time we’re  required to turn over ("escheat") the funds.
I don't remember having a policy with Lincoln. Has Lincoln merged with any other insurance or financial services companies where I could have had a policy?

The policies could have come from a company Lincoln acquired, or merged with, or for whom Lincoln Financial administers some of its policies, such as Jefferson Pilot, First Penn-Pacific Life, CIGNA, Aetna, ING Life, Connecticut General or Kentucky Central Life, Guarantee Life or Canada Life.

How do I know the letter I received is a legitimate request?

We encourage customers to be careful with their identity.  To verify the letter you received matches the same template, please review the sample letters provided on this page. Contact information also is included in the letter if you have questions about your specific property. To verify this information, please view the Unclaimed property letter verification page, which contains Lincoln Financial group contact information for owners and beneficiaries.

Why have I not received this letter earlier?

Lincoln makes every effort to place funds in the hands of the rightful owner. In the case of uncashed checks, we mail a letter to the payee 120 days after the check was issued, asking if a replacement check is needed. If we don’t receive a response from the payee at that time, we’re required to hold the funds until the specified time established by the states to escheat.

If I don’t respond to this letter, what will happen to the funds?

All states require that we turn over the funds to them. The state that receives the funds is determined by the last known address of the payee. If no address is available, we’re required to escheat the funds to the state in which the issuing insurance company is domiciled. Once the funds are escheated to the appropriate state, you would need to work with the state in order to claim the funds.

Why does Lincoln require personal information?

By providing an updated mailing address and social security number, Lincoln is able to fulfill our commitment and take the appropriate action to send the property to the correct person or entity.

If I complete the form I received in the mail, how long will it take to get a check?

It may take between eight and ten weeks. However, if you’re the beneficiary claiming funds, it may take longer and additional documentation may be requested at a later date.

I am a beneficiary (spouse, child) of the payee. What documentation do I need to send in order to receive the funds?

Typically, you need to provide a Certificate of Death certified by the state/county to receive the funds. You must also provide a copy of an official document establishing your right to the funds. For further clarification, please contact the customer service center by calling the number provided in the letter.

Do I need to have my signature notarized?

If the amount indicated in the letter is less than $300 and you’re not providing an address different than what was provided in the letter, you do not need to have your signature notarized. If otherwise, you will need to have your signature notarized.

If the letter address contains C/O, (in care of) who can claim the funds?

The letter must be signed by a representative of the C/O firm.