Tag: Bono Vacantia

20 Jul

Finding Unclaimed Estates

James Jacuta General Interest Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

The use of technology is permeating the practice of law at a faster pace as a result of the pandemic, as with every other aspect of our lives. However, some areas of law remain unchanged.

Other than in British Columbia, there is still no system that provides the public with easily accessible information about unclaimed property in Canada. For example, it is difficult to locate accounts in provincially regulated financial institutions like credit unions left by a deceased individual if you do not know where the deceased left the account. This is in contrast with the federally regulated Bank of Canada searchable website for banks.

In England and Wales, the list of unclaimed estates with missing heirs is now posted daily on a searchable website. Probate genealogists and individuals can search the list on the bona vacantia page of gove.uk.

In Scotland, the list provides additional information like the value of the estate, or the status of the administration of the estate, which can be found on the website: Queen’s & Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer.

Beneficiaries and heirs in the United Kingdom have the ability to search online for inheritance assets that they are legally entitled to receive and which are being held in trust for them.

Thanks for reading.

James Jacuta

 

For more information on this topic  please see some of our other blogs:

Reuniting forgotten dollars with their rightful owners!

Lost and Found – $5 Billion

“Bono Vacantia” – Latin for Ownerless Goods or Unclaimed Property

14 May

“Bono Vacantia” – Latin for Ownerless Goods or Unclaimed Property

James Jacuta Estate & Trust Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

A wave of changes in how wills can be signed is sweeping over the legal profession with the force of a tsunami in the last month. While there is still momentum for change, why not include other areas of estate law like an online mechanism to search for unclaimed estate assets. Now is the time to do it.

In the United Kingdom the government posts a weekly list of estates with unclaimed property in those cases where the responsible local authorities were unable to find the legal heirs of estates. It is known as the “Bono Vacantia “ list, and it also provides instructions on making claims where someone has died and not left a will, or where family could not be located.

This publicly available list works well and is similar to the Bank of Canada’s online list of bank accounts with unclaimed balances that can be found here.

In Ontario, there is no publicly available system in place for unclaimed property, or for provincially regulated financial institutions like credit unions, or for estates with unknown heirs. There have been attempts in the past, but, legislation was never put into force. Other provinces, like British Columbia, do have systems in place. In Ontario, if the Office of  Public Guardian and Trustee does not locate the beneficiaries of an estate then the money will remain unclaimed. There is no way for a beneficiary to search online for inheritance assets that they might be legally entitled to receive.

The current wave of changes in estate law forced by the pandemic also creates opportunities for further changes  – why not do it now?

For more information on unclaimed assets please see:

Reuniting forgotten dollars with their rightful owners!

Prepare an Inventory of Your Assets

Lost and Found – $5 Billion

Thanks for reading.

James Jacuta

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