I have on these pages wailed at the practice of escheat (unclaimed assets), which birthed the concept of bona vacantia, by which the monies of persons who died intestate and other unclaimed assets might, the long long end, be sequestered by the Prince of Wales.
In some jurisdictions ‘escheat’, simply refers to unclaimed assets.
You might have heard of the cynical criminal nonsense, that act of parliament that seeks to compel voters to produce photo identification documents before they collect their ballot papers at the polling booth. The politest thing that could be said for this wicked manifestation of evil onanism is that it was a solution for a problem.
In 2019, a year of several elections of which the best remembered is the general election, there were 59 allegations of electoral fraud. That year, like most years, more than half (345) of the electoral malfeasance allegations related to the election candidates in matters of campaign, nomination, and registration. Thus, 42% of the allegations of electoral malpractice were cast in the direction of voters.
In the five years 2017 – 2021, three voters were convicted for electoral fraud, this represents half of all cases in which court proceedings were commenced. Not one of this trio of convicts served as many as a single night as a guest of Her Majesty’s.
Nor fair minded person would suppose voter untruthfulness was a matter in which the remedy was to be found in an Act of Parliament.
Like you, I’m licensed to operate several classes of motorised vehicle, further, on account of my age, by my license, the paper type, which was issued in the so long ago, at a time when only farmers drove Range Rovers, I’m even authorised to ride motorcycles. Now, the motorcycle is the way to get around London.
There was a moment of mirth in my household when in the novelty and uncertainty during the first lockdown of the pandemic, my passport was issued within 4 days of application. The hilarity in my household arose because as you remember, no one was going anywhere. In truth in those days of global uncertainty, no one anywhere had any idea when or if there’d ever be a use of passports for their primary purpose, as travel documents.
There sits on my shelves a public document.
The document is signed by my then five-year old niece. The document is my polling card from the 2016 referendum. Her fifth birthday was the day of the plebiscite. I sent my card to her in the post, she signed it on her birthday. I was thus without my voter card on that June day, but as all voters are currently allowed, all I needed to do was give my name and address to the officers at the polling place and I voted, no muss no fuss.
By the triumph of my memory, before my visit to the voting place, I had travelled by velocipede to visit Alice. If we skip ahead three years from the day of that convulsing plebiscite, Alice spoke to me on the phone about her sister, her sister became a client a week or so after that phone call. Back to the day of the seismic election. Alice expressed an uncommon disappointment that the most important documents to which she’d ever put her name were held in a simple, ordinarily, unremarkable plastic wallet. From that day till a couple of months ago, her disapproval of the plastic envelope has curdled in my memory, it distilled itself to a desire to find suitable housing for such important paperwork.
To abridge a long tale, I engaged Svetlana who in her day job is a whizz with graphical representation. She designed the rather handsome box pictured on opening page. Every client gets one of these storage boxes in which to store important documents such as their property deeds, important papers and of course their wills and trust documents.
Prevent Unclaimed Assets
Using the box, and the accompanying booklet would help your executors and beneficiaries claim all your assets fully and completely. And pay the correct amount in inheritance tax. Not a penny more.
None of your assets would be left unclaimed.
None of your estate would be subject to escheat.
Your family, not the Prince of Wales would get the fruit of your life’s work.