Q: Where does the unclaimed property come from?
- The unclaimed funds that the Society holds can come from the following areas:
- credit union accounts
- insurance payments
- court payments
- intestate estates (death without a will and next of kin cannot be located)
- overpaid debt collections
- real estate deposits
Q: What happens to unclaimed property?
- BCUPS holds the funds, actively searches for owners of unclaimed property and publishes a list of unclaimed property owners on our website. The names of the owners of unclaimed property remain on our online database until claimed by the rightful owner. If entitlement is verified, these funds are paid to the claimant. Each year, a percentage of funds that are unclaimed are donated to Vancouver Foundation for charitable purposes. Learn more about our community support through Vancouver Foundation.
Q: Is there a time limit in which to make a claim?
- Unclaimed property is always available to its rightful owner. For example, we have several accounts that date back to the late 1800s. If someone can prove ownership, we return their property. Please note that the longer a property goes unclaimed the harder it could be for the individual to provide the required documentation.
Q: Will I receive earned interest with my property?
- No, you will not receive interest earned on your property. Interest is not paid to claimants under the terms of the Unclaimed Property Act.
Q: Do you charge a fee when I claim my money?
- No, we do not charge a fee for our services.
Q: Are any of the funds I receive as a result of a successful claim subject to taxation?
- You are responsible for declaring relevant assets when you file your income tax. Our office does not provide tax advice and we encourage you to consult an accountant or income tax professional.
Q: How long does it take to process a claim?
A: Once we receive the required documentation, a typical claim can be processed within 30 days.
Q: Are you open to the public?
- Our office is not open to the public. Please contact us by phone, mail or email.
Q: Does the society hold land or other physical property?
- When we refer to "property" we always mean money; we do not hold land or any other material property.
Q: Are you part of the Government?
- In April 2003 the Province of British Columbia entered into an agreement with the Vancouver Foundation for the delivery of these services. The services are provided through the BC Unclaimed Property Society and controlled by Vancouver Foundation. The Province of BC retains the governance role.
Q: Does each province have an Unclaimed Property Society?
- No, the Unclaimed Property Society is unique to British Columbia. Alberta, Quebec and Ontario have Unclaimed Property departments within their provincial government.
Q: How do you locate people?
Q: If I received a letter from you, does that mean you have money that is mine?
- Not always. When we search for people, we are looking for anyone with the same name as the name we have on file. It is up to the individual to provide the required identification and documentation to prove they are the same person listed in our database.
Q: What type of documentation is required to make a claim?
- One piece of documentation which matches the owner to the property, plus two pieces of government-issued personal identification. For unclaimed court funds, the Society requires a certified true copy of a court order created within the past six months. There are circumstances where the Society may need to request additional documentation.
Q: What if the owner of the unclaimed property is a deceased relative?
- We work with the executor or legally appointed representative of the estate to identify the legal
heir(s)and facilitate reunification of the estate’s assets with the rightful owner under applicable provincial laws.
Q: What if my name has changed?
- We require a legal change of name certificate in order to process a claim. You can obtain a change of name certificate from the BC Vital Statistics Agency.
Q: How do I find out the dollar value of my property?
- Due to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act we cannot release the exact dollar value. In order to appear on our website, the unclaimed property value is $50 or greater. Once entitlement is confirmed, you will be advised of the exact dollar value.
Q: Where can I find unclaimed property in other provinces or the US?
- You can find links to organizations and other unclaimed property sites by visiting our Other Sources page.