Bona vacantia

According to the treasury solicitor "bona vacantia" literally means vacant goods.

"Bona Vacantia" is the legal name for ownerless property that passes to the Crown. The latin translation means 'ownerless goods'

Until 1 April 2015 the Treasury Solicitor's Department administered the estates of persons who died intestate without known kin and collected the assets of dissolved companies and failed trusts. From 1 April 2015 the Treasury Solicitor's Department became the Government Legal Department .

The Bona Vacantia division of the Government Legal Department moved to Croydon in May 2017. The only list of unclaimed estates published by the Bona Vacantia Division is the BVD unclaimed estates list. Other lists may be supplied by private “heir hunter” firms.

Solvent estates leaving a net balance of £500 or above will be dealt with and there are around 2,000 cases each year. Enquiries are made to contact next of kin and newspaper adverts may be taken out to try to find next of kin. On the Bona Vacantia site if you think you have a claim more information can be found in their guide on how to Make a claim to a deceased person’s estate.

In the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster the Treasury Solicitor does not get involved, the estate is dealt with by Farrer and Co.

What is Bona Vacantia and what is the Duke of Cornwall's Benevolent Fund?

Bona Vacantia - Duchy of Lancaster

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