Topic: Unclaimed Property in BC
Speaker: Alena Levitz, B.A., LL.B, LL.M, Executive Director, BC Unclaimed Property Society
Alena Levitz has been the Executive Director of the BC Unclaimed Property Society (BCUPS) since 2011. The BC Unclaimed Property Society is a not-for-profit Society created in 2003 by the Province of British Columbia and Vancouver Foundation to administer the unclaimed property program for British Columbia. As Executive Director of BCUPS, Alena oversees strategic planning and operational activities for the Society as well as providing legal advice.
Alena has substantial legal expertise with a particular emphasis in the areas of wills and estates as well as estate administration. She oversaw complex estate files for the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC during her five years spent with that office. She has broad experience in stakeholder relations, and government relations gained during her four years as a Policy Analyst with WorkSafeBC. Alena obtained her LL.B from Queen’s University and holds an LL.M degree from Osgoode Hall Law School.
BCUPS mission is to work with holders of unclaimed property to reunite rightful owners with their forgotten or unclaimed funds. Unclaimed property can include money held in dormant credit union accounts, forgotten insurance payments, unclaimed wages, overpayment to debt collectors as well as unclaimed proceeds from courts, tax offices and estates. We hold unclaimed property as the custodian for rightful owners under the Unclaimed Property Act. The Society maintains a searchable database of dormant accounts that allows members of the public to identify whether unclaimed funds are held in their name. There is no limitation period to claim funds from BCUPS – monies are always available to the rightful owner – and there is no cost for our service.
Last year, BCUPS received more than $6.1 million in unclaimed property from companies and organizations and returned approximately $1.7 million to claimants. The BCUPS database lists over $160 million in unclaimed funds, including some dating as far back as 1859.
For more information on BCUPS, please visit www.unclaimedpropertybc.ca