Lincoln, Neb. (June 28, 2018) – As preparations get underway for Fourth of July celebrations, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg reminds Nebraskans to check unclaimed property records for money they may be owed, as well as for loved ones’ military medals that may have been stored in safe deposit boxes.
“Every year, our Unclaimed Property Division receives the contents of more than 200 safe deposit boxes from Nebraska banks. The contents often include jewelry, watches, savings bonds, and personal documents, as well as medals earned in school, at work, from fraternal organizations, and occasionally in military service,” Stenberg said.
To date, the Treasurer’s Office is holding six military medals from four safe deposit boxes turned over to the state, Stenberg said. The medals, the names of the owners listed on the safe deposit boxes, and the years the Treasurer’s Office received the medals include the following:
- Mary Turner and Patsy Turner, Lincoln, U.S. Navy Fidelity, Zeal, Obedience, 2016.
- Marijane Austin, Plattsmouth, U.S. Armed Forces Expeditionary Service and National Defense, 2011.
- Adrian Perry and Andre Perry, Bellevue, two medals for Military Merit, 2011.
- No owner listed, Rifle and Grenade, 1991.
“We would very much like to find the rightful owners of these medals and return them to their owners or their families,” Stenberg said. “These medals are tangible reminders of the sacrifices made throughout our history by our brave men and women in the service of our country. In particular during this Fourth of July holiday, we offer our gratitude.”
Military medals turned over to the Treasurer’s Office are held for at least 10 years in the name of the safe deposit box owner. After 10 years, if the owner has not been located, the Treasurer’s Office may give the medal to a designated custodian for safekeeping, Stenberg said. The Treasurer’s policy, however, is to retain possession of all military medals until they are claimed by the owner or the owner’s family.
Stenberg said a law passed by the Legislature in 2012 requires that any military medal removed from a safe deposit box or any other safekeeping repository – when the lease has expired because of failure to pay rent – be retained by the bank and eventually turned over to the State Treasurer after the required dormancy period.
After 10 years, the Treasurer then may turn over the medal for safekeeping to a veteran’s organization, a government entity, or the organization that awarded the medal. The Treasurer’s Office holds all military medals in the names of the owners of the safe deposit boxes and does not include military medals in its online auction of safe deposit boxes. The office’s last auction was last October.
Ways to search for unclaimed property and file claims include the following:
- Check the Treasurer’s website at treasurer.nebraska.gov. Type a name in the search box on the home page or click on the Unclaimed Property tab at the top of the page.
- For amounts less than $500, owners may file claims online through the website.
- For an amount greater than $500, an owner may complete the claim form on the website and mail to the State Treasurer’s Office, Unclaimed Property Division, 809 P St., Lincoln, NE 68508-1390. The form must be notarized.
- Call the Unclaimed Property Division at 1-877-572-9688 toll free or 402-471-8497. Calls are taken 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays.
- Visit the Unclaimed Property office at 809 P Street in Lincoln or in Suite 2005 of the Capitol. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays. An owner should bring a driver’s license and Social Security card.
- If filing on behalf of a deceased family member for an amount greater than $500, the owner must provide documentation including a will, death certificate, obituary notice, and personal representative documents.