Informal Opinion Number: 2020-18
Adoption Date: 2020
QUESTION: Attorney is holding funds in the trust account, but Attorney is unable to determine to whom the funds belong. What should Attorney do with the funds?
ANSWER: Attorney should continue to make reasonable efforts to identify the client or third person to whom the funds belong so the funds can be distributed. If the efforts are unsuccessful after a reasonable period of time, Attorney should hold the funds in an IOLTA or non-IOLTA trust account per Rules 4-1.15 and 4-1.155 and follow the requirements of Missouri’s Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act. Formal Opinion 118; Informal Opinion 2011-01.
Informal Opinions are ethics advisory opinions issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel to members of the Bar about Rule 4 (Rules of Professional Conduct), Rule 5 (Complaints and Proceedings Thereon), and Rule 6 (Fees to Practice Law) pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.30(c). Written summaries of select Informal Opinions are published for informational purposes as determined by the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to Rule 5.30(c). Informal opinion summaries are advisory in nature and are not binding. These opinions are published as an educational service and do not constitute legal advice.
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