Law:Escheats Act

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R.s.c., 1985, c. E-13

An Act respecting escheats

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Escheats Act.

R.S., c. E-7, s. 1.

Escheat

2. Where Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada is entitled to any land or other real or personal property by reason of the person last seised or entitled thereto having died intestate and without lawful heirs or by reason of any corporation, association or society having been finally dissolved or wound up or having ceased to exist, the Attorney General of Canada may cause possession thereof to be taken in the name of Her Majesty, or if possession is withheld, may exhibit an information in the Federal Court for the recovery thereof.

R.S., c. E-7, s. 2; R.S., c. 10(2nd Supp.), s. 64.

Grants of property escheated

3. The Governor in Council may make a grant of any real or personal property that is now or may hereafter become the property of Her Majesty as mentioned in section 2, or any part thereof or any interest therein,

(a) to any person who, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, had a legal or moral claim on the previous owner, or a just or natural right or claim to succeed to the previous owner’s property or to any part thereof;

(b) to carry into effect any disposition thereof that the Governor in Council believes the previous owner may have intended;

(c) to reward any person making discovery of that property to Her Majesty.

R.S., c. E-7, s. 3.

Recovery of possession

4. Any grant under section 3 may be made without actual entry or taking possession of the property and, where possession is withheld, the person to whom the grant is made may institute proceedings for the recovery thereof in any court of competent jurisdiction.

R.S., c. E-7, s. 4.

Time for bringing action for recovery of property

5. No action shall be brought or maintained against Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, the Attorney General of Canada or any minister or officer of Her Majesty in right of Canada to recover

(a) the whole or any part of any property, real or personal, that, by reason of the person last seised or entitled thereto having died intestate and without heirs, or by reason of any corporation, association or society having been finally dissolved or wound up or having ceased to exist, has been judicially declared vested in Her Majesty in right of Canada, or of which the Attorney General of Canada has caused possession to be taken on behalf of Her Majesty, or that has otherwise come into the possession of Her Majesty as escheat or bona vacantia, or

(b) any compensation or damages in respect of any property described in paragraph (a) or the taking possession or withholding thereof,

more than five years after the date of the death of the person last seised or entitled to the property, or where the person last seised or entitled to the property was a corporation, association or society, more than five years after the date of the dissolution or winding-up or ceasing to exist of the corporation, association or society.

R.S., 1985, c. E-13, s. 5; 2000, c. 12, s. 110.


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