With Act number 350, Louisiana became the latest state to make changes to its unclaimed property laws to reflect how consumers use technology to manage their financial lives. This act updates provisions regarding the presumption of abandonment, allowing owner-directed electronic transactions and access through websites or similar electronic access points to be an "indication of an owner's interest in property."
Under Louisiana law, property is unclaimed if an owner has not communicated with the holder concerning the property or if the owner has no otherwise shown an indication of their interest in the property. By permitting electronic access to be an indication of interest, more accounts will remain with the financial institutions, in accordance with the account owner's wishes.
Louisiana is one of many states that currently has contracts with Verus Financial, a third-party multi-state contingent fee audit firm. Verus, best known for the multi-state life insurance audits and using the Social Security Death Master File, has expanded into financial services audits. Financial institutions should be aware of each of the different contact variations and establish procedures to conform with the standards to minimize potentially escheatable accounts.