August 12, 2021
After the passing of a loved one, it is common for their assets to go unclaimed. In Canada, an asset becomes unclaimed after no activity has been generated (or contact with the owner) for one year or longer.
Federal legislation places a responsibility on creditors to make an effort to contact owners of unclaimed assets. The Bank Act requires federally regulated banks and trust companies to send written notification to balance holders after two, five, and nine years of inactivity. If you are unsure of the deceased’s financial institutions, some provinces have public databases to locate these assets.
After 10 years of inactivity, unclaimed balances are transferred to the Bank of Canada, which acts as a custodian on behalf of the owners. The Bank of Canada will hold balances of less than $1,000 for 30 years and balances of $1,000 or more for 100 years. See below for links to help find unclaimed assets.
*Note: not all provinces have a database at this time