(1) Unclaimed patronage refunds of a rural electric or telephone cooperative are not presumed abandoned under 70-9-803, MCA, if the cooperative, upon the action of the board of trustees:
(a) maintains the unclaimed patronage refunds in a separate general ledger account or fund, which can only be used for educational purposes;
(b) does not include the amount of the unclaimed patronage refunds in the cooperative's general fund;
(c) demonstrates the existence of established written guidelines, policies, and procedures granting the use of the unclaimed patronage refunds for educational purposes only; and
(d) records and substantiates all disbursements of the unclaimed patronage funds.
(2) Unclaimed patronage refunds held in the separate account or fund set forth in (1) can remain in the account or fund and accumulate to provide for educational expenditures that are greater than the annual amount deposited into the account or fund.
(3) For patronage refunds issued in a calendar year, the distribution date is December 31, of the year the patronage refund is issued.