Proposed Unclaimed Property Program – Consultation

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A wide variety of property currently lies unclaimed in various institutions across Ontario. This unclaimed property includes such things as amounts due under an insurance policy and interests recognized by such instruments as share certificates and bonds. Many of these assets are never claimed by their rightful owners.

There are many reasons why assets become unclaimed. Some owners become ill or die without alerting family members to the existence of their property. Others simply lose track of their assets over time. It is thought that the total value of these properties is in the millions of dollars.

Lost or forgotten assets are typically left in the possession of a financial institution or other business (the “holder”), but they do not belong to those institutions.

To ensure that unclaimed intangible assets are dealt with in a fair and responsible manner that minimizes the burden on asset holders, the ministry has proposed a program to manage assets that have been unclaimed for a period of time. A key feature of this proposed Unclaimed Property Program includes the creation of a centralized registry of unclaimed property that could be easily accessed by the public.